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Chrysalis Crucible

PLEASE NOTE: You may access the 1.8 GB Zip audio file thus (the series of steps is due to the huge size of the file…

The steps are:

  • click on link
  • click on “Download”, then “Download anyway” (It takes a while! – file is free of viruses!);
  • click on “Open File”;
  • click on “Yes” to install 7-ZIP (choose location on your computer);
  • open folder;
  • right click on 7zG, then move cursor to 7-Zip, then to “Extract files”;
  • click on “OK”;
  • click on “chrysalis crucible.wav”.

Please contact me if any problems – or if you know of an easier way!

 “I shudder sometimes at what we’re selling, B. B. We want a mindless formula, Four Spiritual Laws swallowed hook, line, and sinker. We urge others to follow Jesus and then look so often like we are on a funeral march. We accept divine forgiveness but deny it to everybody else, from Communists to homosexuals to criminals to the person in the pew next to us – too often even to ourselves. “We think the world will come beating a path to our doors because we look so… What? Pious? Holy? Sanctimonious? There’s a path to our doors all right, but that’s because many with integrity are heading in the opposite direction.” “Andy,” Gary said, “you sound so cynical! What’s happening to you?”

When Andy Norton joins an evangelism team headed for West Berlin during the height of the Vietnam War, he thinks he has all the answers. Little does he realize the experience will become a crucible that forces him to reevaluate virtually everything he believes. In the spirit of the best coming-of-age tales, Chrysalis Crucible takes readers on a journey of discovery, transformation, and rebirth.

Edited by Kevin Miller


Here we have an absorbing and passionately written novel in which a young disciple (Andy) from Canada encounters many of the challenges that face Christianity in these modern times. The encounters which are presented are not trite but take the hero and his readers into deep places. He relates his encounters with many important subjects, including biblical criticism, the historical basis of faith, religious pluralism, sexuality, militarism, genocide, and religious certainty. At the same time, Andy grows in areas of Christian discipleship, for instance, in God’s love for the world, in our calling to love both our friends and our enemies, and in the shape of God’s mission today. This is not about a person who goes in for easy believism or is satisfied with pat answers. His is a search for truth whatever it costs. The book is a challenge to the evangelical community out of which Andy comes, to costly discipleship and should be read by them.

Clark and Dorothy Pinnock (Clark was, until his death August 2010, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario; author of numerous books, including Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness, Paternoster, Carlisle UK/Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2001.)

The Colloquies of Erasmus spoke the depth and breadth of the Christian prophetic vision to his time. Wayne Northey’s novel, threaded together like an Erasminian Colloquy, does much the same thing for the complex Evangelical tribe. Do read, be drawn in and awakened to fuller and more challenging possibilities of the faith journey. Those of good faith will, I’m sure, applaud such an evocative novel. Erasmus would be more than pleased by the line and lineage that Wayne Northey so embodies in such a mature way and manner in this compact novel-colloquy.

Ron Dart (Professor of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Political Science at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia; author of numerous books, including The North American High Tory Tradition, New York: American Anglican Press, 2016.)

Set in the Vietnam era, this novel grips, intrigues, and flows, unveiling the sexual and theological struggles of single conservative Evangelicals on a Witness Team, Gospel Outreach, in West Berlin. The read dances to and fro on the journey toward “pure heart” and “true faith” through vivid scenes of sexual and faith-seeking Angst and hope, pain and joy. Its theological leitmotif: what do love of God, love of neighbor, and love of enemy mean for belief and behavior in the context of unconscionable killing and suffering inflicted by Americans, even Christians, in WWII and Vietnam? Stock Evangelical arguments, with opposing perspectives, are there to hear and see. What really is the gospel we proclaim?!

Willard Swartley (Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana; author/editor of numerous books, including Covenant of Peace: The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology and Ethics, Willard M. Swartley, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.)

Chrysalis Crucible … It’s a bit of a cryptic title until you think about it. The metamorphosis that transforms the caterpillar to a butterfly. The purification of gold that occurs in a fiery crucible. This is the story of a young Evangelical awakening and transfiguration from a crusading zealot through disillusionment to authentic faith. While fictional, the story rings true, not only because of the author’s personal experience, but because it mirrors the story of many a reader. I’ve often felt the truth is better communicated through fiction and story-telling, rather than propositional lists. Here’s a good example.

Brad Jersak (Associate Dean of Ministry Studies (St. Stephen’s University); Core Faculty (Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice), author/editor of numerous books, including Stricken By God?: Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ.)

As a ‘coming-of-age’ tale, it’s fitting that Chrysalis Crucible played a key role in my own coming of age in terms of how I understand the relationship between God and violence.

Kevin Miller (Longstanding editor – of this novel too! – writer, screen writer, and film maker, including Director of Hellbound? and editor of Hellrazed?)

Book Review

My favourite was by noted journalist Lloyd Mackey, written in 2007, the year the novel was first published. (The re-edited version featured came out February 2015.) Please click here. Thanks Lloyd for the gracious happenstance!

Chapter Excerpts

Please see six chapters posted elsewhere on this website:
Chapter Forty-Five
Chapter Forty-Eight
Chapter Sixty-One
Chapter Sixty-Three
Chapter Seventy-Three

Main Characters

Hans Beutler – German student medical doctor; fiancé of Joanne Schwartz

Beatrice Boswell (“B. B.”) – Scottish missionary in West Berlin

Todd Braxman – Fiona’s first beau in novel

Gary and Sharon Collins – newlyweds at GO; West Berlin team members

Petra Delitz – West Berlin convert and team friend

Jack Dumont – Andrew Norton’s roommate at GO; West Berlin team member

Ken Kincaide – GO recruit; would-be friend of Andrew Norton at GO

Dan Moore – son of George Moore; groundskeeper at GO

George Elwin (“G. E.”) Moore – founder of GO; protagonist nemesis

George Meyers – second-in-command at GO

Andrew (Andy) Joseph Norton – protagonist

Susan Norton – Andrew Norton’s older sister

Fiona Sanchez – first love of protagonist at Gospel Outreach (GO); West Berlin team member

Joanne Schwartz – German language teacher at GO; fiançée of Hans Beutler

Lorraine Takahashi – Andy’s first romance in the novel

Janys Thane – fellow Canadian as protagonist, and his confidante; West Berlin team member

Peter and Jean van Oosten – the other couple on the West Berlin team

The U.S. price is around $25.00 (with free shipping); the Canadian, around $31.00 (with free shipping. However, I think for Canadians ordering from the States is still cheaper.). It is also available as a Kindle e-book for $9.99CDN, or for $7.22US. Prices on print copy fluctuate, and may on Kindle too.

Please interact with me about the novel here. I will try to respond in a timely fashion. Thanks. Wayne Northey

  1. [1]Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below.
  2. [2]It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.

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