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The Pure in Heart by Mark Miller

The Pure in Heart

by Mark Miller

186 pages
Josh Mason is the pastor of a small, rural church. He's content with his quiet life of serving his church and community. Then vagabond Dave Johnson challenges Josh to spiritual warfare. In a short time, Josh questions his sincerity as a follower of Jesus, understands a need to mature more spiritually, and rediscovers the heart of faith in Christ.

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Category: Fiction:Christian
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About the Book
The Pure in Heart is a spiritual suspense—spiritual because it explores the Christian faith; suspense because it’s about a confrontation between two opposing life callings.

Set in Aiken, South Carolina, Josh Mason is the pastor of a small rural Baptist church. He serves his church and community and is always looking for an opportunity to minister to people. One morning he receives a phone call from Dave Johnson, who asks how to be saved. What Josh doesn't know is that Dave is a preacher hunter, someone dedicated to doing harm to ministers. They meet and the battle is on—Josh looking to help Dave, Dave looking to hurt Josh.

As The Pure in Heart moves to a big finish, it deals with a minister's life, Christian theology, biblical authority, pastor and church criticism, contemporary issues, and sincere discipleship, the heart of faith in Christ.

The Pure in Heart is ultimately about genuine discipleship. A few of the themes of the novel are as follows:

1. Following Christ is difficult. Jesus compels you to do things you’d rather not do. Josh sees that his confrontation with Dave is a test of his faith, that he's wrestling not so much with Dave but with God.
2. Following Christ is total trust in him. It is an all-in commitment with no guarantees. Josh wants to truly follow Jesus through all his trials and temptations.

3. Following Christ is eternal life. To know God through Christ is eternal life (John 17:3). Josh’s experience of it is not defined by success, wealth, or happiness, but by satisfaction, contentment, and grace.

The Pure in Heart is the first in a series on the pastor and the seven deadly sins. This book is the pastor and greed. The next one will be lust; then envy, pride, wrath, gluttony, and sloth.


Mark Miller, who has the heart of a pastor and the sensitivity of a genuinely caring human being, has written a moving and meaningful story of faith tested, stretched, and challenged. This real to life narrative is gripping because of the depth of the primary characters, a minister and a vagabond, who engage each other in the pressing questions of life. Their exchanges over time reveal a growing relationship which points toward authentic ways people of faith are called and empowered to risk safe, known patterns for real significance in connecting to God and others.
- Dr. Fred Andrea, former pastor, Aiken's First Baptist Church
I don't remember when I've been hooked as quickly and as thoroughly by a book as when I began reading Mark Miller's novel about the moral crisis of a young pastor. Surely this is based on a true story, and I hope the author has never had to face a similar temptation. (But) every pastor, at some point in his or her career, is challenged in some way to determine his purity of heart, thus, the title of the book.
- Dr. Marion Aldridge, former coordinator, CBF of SC
Mark Miller is a long-time, thoughtful pastor in North Carolina who has written a novel about the deadly sin of greed and the struggles of a pastor of a small, rural church to live with obedience to the beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” Josh, the pastor, is tested in his faith by a scam artist, Dave, the son of a self-centered preacher from whom he is alienated. The book is a vivid description of some of the realities pastors face, especially in the small congregation. Dave is the metaphor for all the challenges Josh faces.
- Dr. Larry McSwain, former Associate Dean, Mercer University



About the Author
Mark Miller grew up in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BS in economics and from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with an MDIV. Mark was ordained into the ministry of the Gospel in 1993. He has pastored Baptist churches in Indiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina. He is married and has one son.

He discovered a love of story while at the seminary and began writing short stories. Mark is a winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and has had his short fiction published in The Storyteller and NEWN magazines.

His interests include reading, writing, basketball, golf, movies, and traveling. And he enjoys sharing his comedy bits with anyone he can force to listen.



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