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MURDER IN THE HALLS OF THE SUPREME COURT Tim Lewis is an up and coming young journalist, a protégé of powerful news executive Anthony Merkel and guest host of the award winning program, Law for Lunch. When Lewis unwittingly records one of Merkel’s private conversations, he discovers his boss is a secret member of the murderous Society for Human Enlightenment and party to aMURDER IN THE HALLS OF THE SUPREME COURT Tim Lewis is an up and coming young journalist, a protégé of powerful news executive Anthony Merkel and guest host of the award winning program, Law for Lunch. When Lewis unwittingly records one of Merkel’s private conversations, he discovers his boss is a secret member of the murderous Society for Human Enlightenment and party to a plot to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Kahn. Kahn’s elimination is planned as a prelude to the kind of slaughter not seen since the holocaust. Lewis is discovered, but saves the recording and runs, pursued by the relentless Alan Williams and several of the Society’s feared operational security teams. The Fellowship of the Essentials mobilizes Team Leader Ted Kehr and such men as they have, but Lewis trusts no one. In the end, Lewis is the only one standing between the Society and genocide. His only hope is to return to the woman he loves, but knows betrayed him years ago. Praise for the writing of Joseph Max Lewis The Diaries of Pontius Pilate "Lewis has written a nail-biting thriller that jumps into action on page 1 and doesn't stop until you reach the back cover. Don't open this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair with good reading light, because you won't want to move." - Thom Lemmons, Christy award winning author of Jabez: A Novel, and Blameless. Just Verdicts – Literary short stories "Amazing! Three stories that are so real, so heart-breaking...reads like ripped from the headlines. Very good . . . The author's background sizzles and if you don't know him, you'll want to acquaint yourself promptly.” - Lisa J. Lickel, editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the literary magazine of Wisconsin Writers Association. Joseph Max Lewis served as a member of an Operational Detachment in the U.S. Army's Seventh Special Forces Group, the storied Green Berets. During his service Lewis received antiterrorist training and his detachment was tasked to "Special Projects." Afterward, he served as an instructor at the Special Forces Qualification Course. Lewis attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, and the University of Pittsburgh, receiving degrees in International Politics and Law while being certified in Middle East Studies. After living and studying abroad, first in the Middle East and then Southeast Asia, Lewis returned home to practice law. He’s a columnist in the New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator and currently lives, writes, and practices law in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...

Title : separation of church and state
Author :
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ISBN : 20626064
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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separation of church and state Reviews

  • Lyn
    2018-11-24 09:27

    I typed in the term “Christian Thriller” and came up with lists of books by authors Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. This list should expand to include Joseph Max Lewis. Separation of Church and State, the second book in the Fellowship of the Essentials series begun by author Joseph Max Lewis, is what Christian Thrillers should all strive to be; spiritually charged by faith but also fast paced, suspenseful and exciting. Keeping his frenetic stride that made the earlier book, The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, such a surprisingly good book, this novel takes off from page one and never lets up. Something else I liked about this book is that even though this continues the theme of the earlier book, both books stand alone and do not rely on the series but rather complement each other and add value to the delivery by the strength of the individual work. Left Behind fans would like this book also.

  • Wendy
    2018-11-15 09:21

    "Separation of Church and State" is Joseph Max Lewis's realistic new chilling thriller. It begins when Tim Lewis an ambitious young journalist inadvertently records a conversation between his boss, the Director of Special Reports and Real Reliable News Networks, and Fred Stueben, a law professor. What he discovers when he listens to the recording is a conspiracy to murder a Justice of the Supreme Court, an initiative to control the government and information networks, and a plan for a Christian pogrom, a massacre which has not been seen since the Nazi Holocaust.Having sought solace in bar after an uncomfortable conversation with Anthony Merkle and Fred Stueben, Tim awakes with a headache to find that he's called his boss and told him that he witnessed the murder of the Supreme Court Justice. Instead of finding support he becomes the object of a manhunt by the Society of Human Enlightenment. Unable to trust anyone Tim begins a game of hide and seek as death dogs his trail. What he doesn't know is that rescue may not be far behind as The Fellowship of the Essentials has mobilized a team and Ted Kehr and his men are in hot pursuit.In the style of Joel Rosenberg, Tim LeHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the writer creates a well-written and absorbing story in which the action is non-stop as the suspense mounts. From a high-profile murder, to high speed chases and a sadistic killer that prowls the streets the plot twists and turns as the story heats up.Like the plot the core characters are well-developed and realistic with all their strengths and weaknesses. Tim Lewis, a boy from Pittsburgh caught up in the fast-paced world of network television is ambitious, but somewhat naive. As the story progresses fear takes hold, his dreams shattered but through it all a kernel of faith and hope begins to take root and grow. Yosi and Ari, the two skilled Israeli operatives are trustworthy, considerate and protective of the young fugitive. Ted Kehr the leader of the recovery team is determined and resolute; his faith and resilience overcoming his fatigue and apprehension about the mission. Angela Baker is quiet, confident and self-sacrificing. A woman of faith, she never expects to find herself on a new path filled with danger, one that will awaken a lost love.But it's the antagonists in the plot who are chilling with their merciless cruelty and murderous intent. Anthony Merkel and Fred Stueben are homicidal high-ranking members of the Society of Human Enlightenment who value power more than a human life. Tom Sauer, a minister hides deceit and betrayal behind a trusting smile. Alan Williams and Carl Hardesty are heartless killers; one a psychotic maniac. In this story you can sense the violence and bloodshed that follows these men, but which thankfully is not graphically described."Separation of Church and State" will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it's the message of hope and faith that clearly reverberates throughout this novel. I loved it and anticipate even more great stories from the pen of this up and coming author.

  • Marcia Shepherd
    2018-11-21 05:13

    Wow! I am a fan! It is that simple. This book is well written and a pleasure to read. I forced myself to read it slowly, taking a week to read it rather than a day or two. I loved it. From beginning to end, I loved it. I do not want to give away the plot or any pivotal details. But I will say that I was capita end by the plot, the character development, and the sense of urgency and action within the the story. This book did a great job being its own book, while still referring to the first book and lending to a sense of a greater developing story. I believe everything was well developed and ideas were were adequately flushed out. I even love the ending! I was left with a good mix of closure and anticipation for the next book. I am blown away.I believe in reviews that provide valuable feedback for the author. So if I had a complaint, I would express it. I cannot complain about anything else, other than I wish it was longer. I loved it so much, I didn't want to stop reading it. I want more. Very well done Joseph Max Lewis! I cannot wait to read whatever is coming next!

  • Sharon
    2018-11-28 04:40

    I bought this for Kindle, and it was a while before I got to read it. I had begun a couple of times, but could just tell that it was going to be too good not to give it my full attention. I was right! I think this was better than Mr. Lewis' first book, with the characters more fleshed out and "real", to me. The plot's twists & turns kept me going, as did the first book, Diaries of Pontius Pilate, but I didn't feel this book rushed at the end to tie it all together. I appreciated the teaser at the end--just enough to pique my interest in the sequel, and nice to see the reappearance of one of the characters from the first book. Definitely well written, and, for all the conspiracy theory fans, yes, I can find the action believable.Thanks again, Mr. Lewis, for conveying the absolute depravity & evil without gratuitous, graphic, language or description. That takes talent.

  • Calvin Miles
    2018-12-07 07:38

    Another ThrillerChase scenes, gun battles..this isn't your regular Christian fiction. Joseph Lewis has written another great story, a continuation of what he started in Diaries... I couldn't stop reading at the end. Another book that I can picture as a movie. Keep them coming Joseph.

  • John
    2018-12-04 05:30

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The "Societies" Goals are chilling and could come about if The Lord doesn't intervene and people of faith don't stand strong. I hope their is a sequel in the near future.

  • Kwauditor
    2018-11-15 04:17

    I started reading this book the day after I finished "Diaries of Pontius Pilate".Since I was already familiar with some of the characters it was an enjoyable read.The new characters were well developed and their interactions with other characters was good.The plot is a good story, and although a work a fiction, does have several threads of realism to our current societal behavior. We need not only heroes and patriots, but a return to the values that made America great in the first place.The author has done a good job in blending action with suspense while keeping the tapestry of the reason behind it all in focus.I am also happy to see that the ending does lead itself well into a third book, which I eagerly look forward to.

  • Scott
    2018-11-22 04:36

    'Separation' is the second book in the original and intriguing 'Fellowship of the Essentials' series. This book presents a scary, but believable, vision of the near future and the escalating battle between the forces of good and evil that most of us sense but can't observe directly. It is full of action and suspense from start to finish. As with the first book, I love the makeup of the protagonist team and I greatly enjoyed this read. If you are a fan of Christian Fiction and you like Action and Adventure, buy both 'The Diaries of Pontius Pilate' and this book. You will not be disappointed.Now I just need Joseph to quit his day job and start writing these books full time so we don't have to wait so long for book three!

  • Alice
    2018-11-18 06:15

    GREAT read! Lewis takes the conflict between good and evil to the highest echelons of national news media and the American government, specifically the Supreme Court. The Society is planning to begin a Nazi-like pogram against Christians and Jews but the plot is accidentally discovered by a young TV reporter. Can the Fellowship save the reporter and his evidence of the plot? Realistic character development but lots of typos. A real page-turner to the very end.

  • Darren Campbell
    2018-12-12 08:12

    Great story! Heart pounding ending. Loved the whole ride. Lets hope real life doesn't come close to the story. Loved both of his books.

  • Joseph Lewis
    2018-12-13 05:28

    So, I wrote another one so take that 5 for what it's worth.

  • Jay
    2018-11-18 06:34

    I finished this book and was speechless. Book overall made me feel two things in the end...anger and hope. Mostly anger because Joe is writing "Faction" that is happening right before our eyes today. I won't go to far off and rant, but this makes me despise the left even more and has me praying for Jesus to come back because I don't want to deal with what is here or what's coming. I can't stand the media today except for The Blaze and PJ Media on Youtube. This book made me dislike the media even more. It's so hard not to be angry when you see your country falling apart around you to where a fiction book like this one sounds more like fact. Years ago when I was a child I'd call this fiction.But despite my anger from how real this book is, it did give me hope. Even in the darkest times, there's someone out there willing to risk their lives to save our skin if possible. I love the Fellowship in this book and believe now more than ever, we Christians need something like the Fellowship more than ever. I can't give away the plot out of respect to Joe, but the story reminded me again that even in the darkest times, a little hope goes along way.This book isn't better than the first and the first isn't better than this one. They are equal in my book and I'm super excited about Joe's future as an author. He writes it how it is and doesn't sugar coat things. Plain, blunt, simple writing telling the truth, and to most folks in our country today...the truth hurts. I will recommend this book to every person I can and get it out there. America needs authors like Joe out there writing books like this. A job extremely well done Joe. Thanks for scaring me to death and also giving me hope. Knowing men like you are out there is refreshing. "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Psalms 27:17. Keep sharpening Joe.

  • Jeff
    2018-11-24 04:31

    I like the thought of good and evil secret societies, working behind the scenes, manipulating life as we see it… very compelling. It is well written, full of action and suspense. It would be challenging to write a book like this and keep it believable - but Joseph Lewis nails it. Just as ‘The Diaries Of Pontius Pilate’ caused me some sleep deprivation, Separation of Church and State easily carried that flag.Thoroughly enjoyed your book – keep them coming :)

  • John
    2018-12-14 10:26

    Joseph really nailed in His second book. This book was really hard to put down and he really developed the characters in a way that made you feel as if you were in the story. Unlike his first book to this series, he really nailed the ending and leaving you wanting more. I look forward to more of his books and pray there is a 3rd book to this series. You will not be disappointed if you chose to try a new author.

  • Marty Mcintyre
    2018-12-05 11:36

    Once I got started, I couldn't put it down and stayed up all night to read it. What a thriller. The disturbing part is that it really could happen today given the state of our society. Can't wait to see what is next!

  • Barb
    2018-12-02 04:32

    This one started slowly and I almost abandoned it. I'm glad I didn't because I really enjoyed it. Loved the connection to the first book.

  • Judy
    2018-12-06 10:12

    This book genuinely rates as a thriller - - - with all the people chasing /helping journalist Tim Lewis after he learns of the plans to "adjust" the balance of power in the Supreme Court. Whew!

  • Ginal
    2018-12-05 08:11

    Good read, engaging story. This series is a fun, edge of your seat read.

  • Mike
    2018-11-20 04:30

    I read Joseph's first book "The Diaries of Pontius Pilate", liked it very much, so I bought this book when I was finished. I wasn't disappointed. Tim Lewis is the main 'good guy', though at first he doesn't come across as being that good of a guy. Tim is a young and upwardly mobile professional journalist who works for Anthony Merkel. Merkel is a media mogul who can only be described as evil. In todays world of corporate America it's easy to believe in evil upper management, and sadly the news usually backs that belief up. Merkel is a bad guy, and you instantly begin to see he is under the thumb of some reeeaaallly bad guys. Some people might think that some of the freedoms that are being threatened in this book have nothing to worry about. But in todays society with the minority dictating what the majority must do, and redefining what simple words mean to fit there agenda, this book makes you think. What wasn't acceptable 50 years ago is greeted now with open arms, and any talk against it is considered hate speech. The events that occur and are threatened, are not out of the realm of possibility. Good book! Very relevant and thought provoking. Already got his next book.

  • Stanley
    2018-11-18 04:35

    One of my recent favorites. It held me captive from start to finish. Still not sure if it is all fiction. Most of the characters are believable. There are all the elements for a great movie. The story flowed well and I especially liked the overlap when switching from good guys to bad guy scenario. Do you find it impossible to trust the Mainstream Media? Do you believe the New World Order is a real threat? Do you take seriously Jesus' instructions to not be deceived? If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, feast your eyes on this intriguing look a a very real threat to bonafide believers who will not deny their Lord. Fact or fiction, it should cause one to evaluate their News sources. Several chapters into this book I realized that it was a sequel to The Diaries Of Pontius Pilot, so I paused this read to "catch up". Both are great stories and I am l looking forward to more like them.

  • Sheila Myers
    2018-11-21 07:36

    This is the second book I've read by Joseph Lewis. As with the first, as soon as I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. From the very first page, the action is non-stop and exciting. In this day and age, the characters and plot are believable even though some people may state the conspiracy and the response to it would or could never happen. Although this is a work of Christian fiction, I believe followers of other religions as well as non-religious people will enjoy reading this novel.

  • Nick Woodall
    2018-12-14 12:13

    Lewis' books are fast-paced and action-packed! This is his second book, after the Diaries of Pontius Pilate. And he sets up the ending of this book to continue with the characters in his first book. Especially for Christians, this is a great read!

  • Betty
    2018-11-19 09:23

    All I can say is wow!! This was a very thrilling and fast-paced story. The premise - a little to close to reality to my way of thinking. I highly recommend this book.

  • Adam Ziarnik
    2018-11-16 10:25

    I have to say that I was not highly impressed with this one. Perhaps Mr. Lewis hit a sophomore slump? The pacing of his debut novel The Diaries Of Pontius Pilate was much better, and it was a more enjoyable story with a more believable premise, in my opinion. I remember being somewhere about 50-65% through Separation & feeling like I was having to really push myself to finish it - I expect to feel that way sometimes in the first 20% of an otherwise good novel, but not that far in. Ultimately, I'm afraid that Separation of Church and State falls prey to many of the same stereotypes that so much of Christian fiction is adversely affected by. Generally speaking, when reading something classified as Christian fiction, I feel like author of such a book starts out with a "message" to communicate, and then the story is wrapped around it - often to the detriment of the story. Diaries felt more organic, but Separation has fallen into this trap, I believe. One of the issues that keeps me from enjoying Christian fiction to the fullest is that it seems sometimes that those who are aligned with the forces of evil are often overtly evil to the point that they recognize their own evilness & simply don't care. It's not that I don't believe in the existence of evil, but that I believe that human nature is such that the practitioners of great evil typically don't see themselves as being proponents of evil. Whether it is Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, or the members of ISIS & Boko Haram, these real-life practitioners of evil typically don't see themselves for being the wicked people that they are. Again, I see this exemplified here. There were a couple major plot devices that were included in Separation that really bugged me as well. Warning: Minor spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk:1) Ari & Yosi in the hobo camp. It seemed a little too convenient that Israeli secret agents (Mossad?) just happened to be in the right place at the right time (and what an unusual place for them to be as well) to help Tim, who, as I recall, they weren't even looking for to begin with. Furthermore, we're supposed to believe that these guys are some kind of international counter-terrorism agents working undercover, going into dangerous situations unarmed? I don't know about that. 2) Tom as a double-agent. I'm sorry. I'm not buying it. Tom is an ordained minister, engaged to Angela, but he's also a member of The Society? To what end does The Society have one of their members shepherding a church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? Making Tom secretly a member of The Society gives The Society a way to track Tim down, but beyond that it makes little sense. So much of what happens in the story hinges on these two meetings. Take them away, and the whole thing comes apart in some way or another.I have no problem with applying the suspension of disbelief while enjoying a novel. I love fantasy & sci-fi, both of which often require forgetting about realism to some extent. However, when reading modern adult thrillers, I employ a higher standard for believability. I hesitated to write this review at first out of a sense of goodwill toward Mr. Lewis, who, I might add, is great about interacting with his readers. It was after some interaction with him online that I purchased his first novel, and later this one. I think he's a great guy, but it would be unfair for me to let my opinion of Mr. Lewis influence the content of my review of this book. I don't mean to sound harsh in my review, as I see that the majority of reviewers have enjoyed this much more than I have. I admit I'm often tough on christian fiction because I want the genre as a whole to be something more than it usually ends up being. I may try the next book sometime in 2016. Perhaps we'll get more of the protagonists from the prior novel, Kevin & Jill, who only made a brief cameo appearance. Tim just doesn't do it for me.

  • Cindi
    2018-11-20 07:36

    This is another wonderful story from Joseph Max Lewis. You don't have to read his 1st book, The Diaries of Pontius Pilot, to enjoy this one but I recommend you do since its a knock-out (and a soon-to-be movie). Separation continues the anti-Christian conspiracy theory and boy, is it chilling! And realistic. I got those chills often while I read this one because I happen to A) be a Christian, and B) see how the mainstream media prefers a liberal agenda vs. a conservative one. Tim Lewis is a young, up-and-coming journalist at a large and liberal news station. He accidentally records his boss and a political hack discussing the assassination of a Supreme Court Justice in order to stack the Court the way a shadowy group called The Society wants, with the ultimate goal of allowing for a "Living" Constitution that could suppress Christians. Things start to roll quickly when his boss figures out what Tim did. There is action galore, and the characters are well-developed.I have 2 complaints, however, that kept me from rating this novel higher and almost made me rate is down a star. 1) There is a cliffhanger the size of those White Cliffs of Dover - the end of the book just slammed into the story (talk about feeling rushed! Plus cliffhangers are a personal pet peeve), and 2) this book needs tons of proofing. The punctuation errors/missing punctuation happened so frequently that I (being the daughter of an English teacher) kept getting thrown out of the story. Now, don't get me wrong...I am still recommending this Dan Brown-quality series; I simply would give my eyeteeth to be able to get a chance to edit it!

  • Steve
    2018-11-24 11:39

    I really liked this second volume of The Fellowship of the Essentials series, thought the editing and branding is not up to the level of the first volume.Once going the action plays out well, ending up a fair bit of a page-turner.The book feels twenty pages, or perhaps twenty paragraphs too short, mostly continuity editing that seems to have been missed. I small far from an accurate reader, but the editing misses in grammar, voicing (who said that?) and spelling interrupted a story well told.Being volume two the reader is likely aware that Evil (The Society for Human Enlightenment) is confronting Good (The Fellowship of the Essentials) but if not the reader may struggle to context the forces at play. Unnamed is the the neutral masses, the pudding prize the struggle is alternating between claiming their souls for evil or their earthly lives so they might willingly repent. One major character has an epiphany, a redemption out of crisis that perhaps should play larger so critical is the change. Underplayed the message of hopefulness is played a bit lightly.Surprising is the lack of cover tie-in as Volume Two of the series. Without the tie to the series the title is very dry. Let not my suggestions seem overly critical - this is a very good read that is a worthy follow up to Volume One.

  • Doug
    2018-11-27 07:26

    A real good story - like the whole "Fellowship" concept. Needs some editing though. No complex syntax issues, just simplestuff like words missing, etc.