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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Judge

If placed in a court of law, how would you defend your faith?

Oliver Finney in Randy Singer's novel The Judge (previously published as The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney) finds himself in just such a place...
When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker.  But he has an idea that might:  he will stage the ultimate reality show.  With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world's major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges.
Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity.  As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life.  With Internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Mereno.  Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney's clues in an apologetics book Finney wrote and must race against time to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her boss dies defending them.
Randy believes it’s important to simultaneously hold a number of different jobs so that if he gets fired by two employers the same day, he can still avoid the unemployment line. He splits his time and divides his personality between Randy Singer, critically acclaimed author, Randy Singer, veteran trial lawyer, and Randy Singer, pastor. When he grows up, he will decide what he really wants to do.
Randy graduated from Houghton College in 1978, married Rhonda Pursifull that same year, and began teaching and coaching at Houghton Academy, a local Christian boarding school. After five years of teaching and coaching, he left the front of the classroom to take a seat in the back, pursing his dream of going to law school. Three years later, he graduated second in his class from William and Mary School of Law. 
Following law school, Randy began an active trial practice at Willcox and Savage, a sixty lawyer firm in Norfolk, Virginia, eventually becoming head of the firm's litigation section. After thirteen years with the firm, and several more years working with a mission board and cable television network, Randy decided that a recession was a good time to start a new business. He formed his own firm—the Singer Legal Group—in 2009, specializing in civil litigation and business/ministry consulting.
Randy has tried numerous high profile cases in state and federal court. He served as lead counsel in Farley v. Guns Unlimited, the first jury trial in Virginia that received gavel-to-gavel television coverage.  
Randy also serves as Attorney In Residence and Director of the Singer Civil Litigation Practicum at Regent Law School where he is also a member of the Board of Visitors. In 2011 and 2012, Randy was named to Virginia Business magazine’s list of “Legal Elite” litigation attorneys.  in 2012, he was named one of Virginia’s select list of “Super Lawyers.”
About ten years ago, Randy began pursuing a passion to write. Tapping into his courtroom and ministry experience, Randy pens legal thrillers designed to entertain his readers while confronting them with biblical truths on controversial issues. His first novel, Directed Verdict, was published by WaterBrook Press in October 2002, and won the prestigious Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel that year. Just last year, Randy was named a finalist, along with John Grisham and Michael Connelly, for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the American Bar Association and the University of Alabama Law School. 
When Trinity Church was launched in Virginia Beach in 2007, the leaders asked Randy to come on board as the Teaching Pastor. In five years, the church has grown to over 600 in attendance, hosts three different Sunday morning services, and is involved in ministry work in various parts of the world. Randy has told the church that he is willing to continue to serve as Teaching Pastor until they find somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. In the meantime, he is a preaching lawyer: proof positive that God can use anybody to do anything.
Randy and Rhonda have two children. Rosalyn, age twenty-seven, graduated from the University of Georgia and South Carolina Law School. She is now clerking for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Joshua, age twenty-five, graduated from Auburn University and is a wrangler in the mountains of Colorado. Rhonda teaches high school English and wonders how she ended up with two lawyers and one cowboy in the family. Randy's interests are basketball, running, canoeing, hiking, reading and cheering for the kids’ college football teams.  (Bio taken from Singer's website found at
Tyndale House Publishers sent me a copy of The Judge for the purpose of review.  I am posting my own thoughts without any expectation by them for a positive review.  However, I can't give anything but a positive review for Singer's The Judge, because this man is a brilliant writer!  I have reviewed two other titles by Singer:  The Last Plea Bargain and False Witness.  Those reviews can be found HERE and HERE.
In The Judge, Singer has written an amazing story of intrigue, mystery and faith.  The premise of the reality show concept makes the story fresh and current.  The twists and turns in this story keep you turning pages and just when you think you have it all figured out...well, you turn the next page and find out you don't!  As I've stated in other reviews of his work, Singer has placed himself beyond other legal thriller writers.  His writing is gritty and real...not some soft soaped little story with a few Christian thoughts thrown in for good measure.  His stories make you think and evaluate where you are in your own faith.
So, how would you defend your faith?
I've often heard that same concept phrased like this:  If placed on trial for your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
I think the answer is found more in one's actions as opposed to one's words.  Or stated another way, does your walk match up with your talk?  Today, people are searching for truth...those things that are abiding in the midst of the messiness of life.  I pray my actions would show that my faith in the One True God of the Bible is real.  How does my "faith" hold up in the midst of my trials?  People want to see that. 
And Randy Singer gives a beautiful picture of that in The Judge.
You can order The Judge on by going HERE.  And believe me, you do want to order this book!
Happy Reading,