Sol Harkens has it all. A new best seller, a gorgeous model girlfriend, immense success. He’s the Mohammad Ali of outspoken atheist celebrities. But not everything is perfect in Sol Harkens’ life. After losing his son to cancer he dedicated himself to denying God and parlayed his attacks on Christianity into a lucrative business. But Sol is empty inside. His party lifestyle has isolated him from his ex-wife, Katy, and their two sons. He resents their unrelenting faith and Katy’s prayers for his soul.
When Sol’s self-destructive habits end in a serious car crash, he wakes up to learn he was clinically dead for four minutes. Being dead isn’t what bothers him. It’s the voice. Five simple words that refuse to let him go: “Daddy, let there be light.”
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About the Author
Sean Hannity is the host of radio's The Sean Hannity Show and TV's Hannity, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Deliver Us from Evil and Let Freedom Ring. His radio show is heard by roughly 13.5 million loyal listeners on 500 stations nationwide.
Sam Sorbo is known for her quick wit, fun personality, voracious work ethic, and strong commitment to principle. She holds many titles including radio host, actress, international model, activist, author, wife, mother, and home schooling advocate.
After high school in Pittsburg, PA, Sam studied biomedical engineering at Duke University before pursuing a career in modeling. Modeling offered her the chance to travel and learn languages; she is fluent in five. Sam moved to Los Angeles for acting, where dedication and perseverance gained her roles in several films (Bonfire of the Vanities and Twenty Bucks) and TV shows, including Chicago Hope and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Hercules introduced her to Kevin Sorbo, who swept her off her feet. They married in 1998 and she moved to New Zealand. While living in Auckland, Sam created and published a humorous and educational photo-book, Gizmoe: The Legendary Journeys, Auckland. Sam's most recent book, with co-author Marius Forté, is The Answer: Proof of God in Heaven. She is radio host of nationally syndicated The Sam Sorbo Show, speaks publically around the country and recently appeared in the movies Hope Bridge, with Kevin Sorbo and Boo Boo Stewart, and Just Let Go with Ian Cusick, for which she won "Best Supporting Actress" at the Utah Film Festival.
Sam's new book, They're YOUR Kids: An inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate, recently released to rave reviews. Of course, the Sorbos home school their three children.
Sam and Kevin have just completed filming a movie based on her story, written by Dan Gordon and Sam Sorbo, and Directed by Kevin Sorbo. The film, "Let There Be Light," stars Kevin and Sam with their two boys, Braeden and Shane, and features Dionne Warwick, Michale Franzese, Travis Tritt, Daniel Roebuck, Gary Grubbs, and Donielle Artese. Executive Producer Sean Hannity also plays himself in the movie, Due out for Christmas, 2017.
Read an Excerpt
Sol Harkens thought of himself as the Muhammad Ali of atheist debaters. He dispatched Christian apologists with the speed and style and grace of a man used to using words the way the great Ali used footwork and a left jab. He wasn't so much a debater as he was a pugilist, a matador, a great fencer, or a Shaolin Kung Fu master. He not only floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, he could cut off a verbal opponent at the knees with a well-placed, sidelong glance, with a charming wink and a nod to an audience he held in the palm of his hand. He was Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral. He fancied himself Babe Ruth pointing into the center field stands and promising the pitcher, with a mocking grin, that whatever he had to throw at him, Sol would literally knock the next one out of the park. He was a behind-the-back, Magic Johnson pass, a Michael Jordan slam dunk, the camera following in slow-mo, the turn-around jump-shot, his generation's hero thrown up on the pop charts; he was the bomb in the baby carriage, wired to the radio. Lethal. Deadly. He was the Ferrari to the Christian apologist's Fiat 500. The D'Artagnan of dogma. At six foot three and a trim 210 pounds and, he thought to himself, devastatingly handsome, he was the complete package. And he knew it.
He warmed up for debates not with flashcards, but with shadowboxing. In the land of the blind, where even a one-eyed man was king, he had telescopic vision. He had single- handedly turned religious debate into blood sport. He didn't defeat his opponents, he body slammed them and, quite frankly, he didn't care what it took to do it — intellect, emotions, sarcasm, or even, though he would never admit it to himself, the carefully crafted pimping out of his own personal tragedy, the death of his eight-year-old son. He felt neither shame nor embarrassment. Nor was he bothered by a hint of someone else's sense of morality. He was like Han Solo, shooting Greedo under the table. He liked that image of himself — the intellectual as dashing pirate privateer, or gunslinger, or the aforementioned most flamboyant, charismatic, and, quite possibly, greatest heavyweight champion of all time, Muhammad Ali.
Sol had his own set of groupies to whom he threw the occasional crumb of witticism or wink, and a seemingly endless supply of Russian supermodels who were happy to trade the pleasure of their company for the rubbed-off glory of being on the arm of the darling of the New York glitz and literati scene.
Bill Maher, he thought, could be his Mini-Me, and he chuckled heartily at his own witticism and the mere thought of balancing Maher in the palm of his hand while trading verbal blows with the ghost of a younger Billy Graham.
How he wished there was someone on the other side with his own intellectual capacity and good looks.
He and Billy Graham.
Now, that would have been a debate. That would have been an adversary worthy of his prowess and charisma.
Instead, he was up against what he could only regard as a plodding, pedestrian Christian apologist.
If he was the Harlem Globetrotters, then Dr. Reinhardt Fournier was the Washington Generals. The man was a walking footstool, his only purpose in life to make Harkens look good by comparison.
And not just good, Harkens thought. Fan-freaking-tastic.
The New Union College Auditorium, scene of some of the greatest debates in New York of the past hundred years, was packed to its ornate rafters. New Yorkers had come to regard a Sol Harkens debate with the same sense of bloodlust with which the Pamplonans regarded the first bloodletting in the running of the bulls.
Harkens had been the baby of the group of all the gang down at Elaine's.
He had hobnobbed with Plimpton and Mailer, Talese and Christopher Hitchens. Woody Allen, who almost never looked up from his meal, would accord Harkens a nod. When Elaine's closed down and Woody began playing Dixieland at the Carlyle instead, Harkens made it a habit to drop in at least once a month. On at least one occasion, he wrote on a slip of paper his request that Woody and company play that great Dixieland classic, "Bur-GUHN-dy Blues Street." This afforded Woody the opportunity to play the George Lewis clarinet solo, which he ended with an appreciative nod toward Sol's table and endeared Sol even more to the Russian supermodel of the month.
Afterward, he would drop in to the piano bar midway between the showroom and the restaurant of the Carlyle, and sit in with Earl, the last of the great piano bar pianists in the Big Apple. For Harkens was no mean player in his own right.
In addition, he was a regular at Le Veau d'Or on 60 and Lex, where he would invariably be greeted with kisses on both cheeks by Cathy, the beautiful owner, who kept his table waiting — fourth one on the right from the entrance — for whenever he chose to arrive. She would stop at his table and trade bon mots and the news of the day, as she would with the still-dapper Mr. Talese and the very dashing Charlie Whittingham, former publisher of some of the greatest magazines of the twentieth century who, at six foot five with a patch over one eye and a shock of white hair, resembled nothing so much as a distinguished, intellectual John Wayne and always exchanged felicitations with Sol and whatever beauty of the moment was on his arm. Usually, after a dinner of coq au vin or seared turbot with pommes frites and a crisp rosé, Sol would stroll down 60 to Harry Cipriani's for a late-night Bellini, exchanging pleasantries with Ricardo, the maître d', in Italian, before cabbing it back to his brownstone.
Life was, to all appearances, absolutely grand for Sol Harkens. It was only when he was ensconced in his loft on the top story of the brownstone that things got a little bit darker. That's when he needed the vodka and handfuls of diazepam to go to sleep.
But sleep never came, only late-night infomercials — Wipe-Wowies and Miracle Mops, OxyToxyClean and Miracle Rubber Boat Sealer ads. Finally, he would pass out on his couch somewhere before sunup, and arise, vampire-like, somewhere around noon, pop an upper, take the red out of his eyes with enough Visine to float a battleship, and go out to face yet another day.
Doctor Harkens was mulling over all of his attributes, assets, and deficits, the flotsam and jetsam of what, on the surface, appeared to be a glamorous life and was, in reality, shadowboxing in the dark with ghosts of tragedies that never receded completely into the past but clung to him like a desperate lover or some kind of mold.
It was at that point that he became aware of Fournier droning on from the podium across the stage. Harkens would let him talk as long as he wanted. It was intellectual rope-a-dope, and Fournier plunged in, not without gusto and a certain sense of his own importance.
"The problem," began the Reverend Dr. Fournier, a man of equal height and bearing to Sol Harkens but nowhere near the chiseled features and blow-dry cut of the man that swooning postgraduate students referred to as "the George Clooney of atheists."
"The problem," Fournier intoned again, "with those who would posit that inanimate matter somehow, through a great unexplained cosmic coincidence, morphed from dead to living entities, which then evolved without intelligent design but simply in a random fashion, into ballerinas and nuclear physicists, is that they always ignore the basic question." There was a gentlemanly Southern accent in his dulcet tones, a masculine, lisp-less, carefully-cultivated Capote-esque quality, a sort of Bill Buckley without the lizard tongue. "And the basic question is, 'Where did the inanimate matter come from? Who created it?' Because, being inanimate, it could not have created itself, no matter what Darwinian theory is applied," he said, looking directly at Harkens.
As if, Harkens thought to himself, I would ever stoop to Darwinian Theory to score points off an intellectual slug like him.
"No matter what Darwinian theory is applied," Dr. Fournier continued, with a seemingly nonchalant shrug of his shoulders, "and I emphasize the word 'theory,' absolutely none answers the question, 'What was there before there was no there there?'" He let that one hang as if he had mentioned something as original as eggs laid by tigers.
"And, parenthetically, if you subscribe to the theory that aliens from other galaxies came to our world and influenced in one way or another the creation of species, which by the way I personally neither accept nor discount, the question still remains, who created those alien beings? The God I worship is Lord of the Universe, not simply planet Earth, nor our solar system, nor this, that, nor any other galaxy, but Lord of ALL CREATION!" He stretched his arms out wide as if encompassing all creation itself. "And isn't it interesting," he continued, "that the story of Genesis is in no way contradicted by the theory of evolution. Rather, it explains creation in a way that ancient man as well as modern man can understand. God creates the heavens and the earth. He doesn't jump then to the creation of man. Instead, plants and vegetation are created, followed by living creatures of the sea. Then, birds are created and later livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and finally, at the apex of creation, there is mankind!"
He gazed out into the audience, trying to establish eye contact with any seemingly friendly face. "How fascinating," he said, carefully enunciating every syllable, "that the Bible, this supposed collection of superstitions and fables, accurately delineates the so-called Darwinian progression of life from the sea to the land, finally supposedly evolving, without plan, design, or Creator, into mankind. If I were looking at the two theories, those of Creation and Darwinism, for the first time, I, as a rational being, would say it takes a greater leap of faith by far to accept the notion of inanimate particles, whose origins are unexplained, somehow becoming living entities, which, through a random process, produce Miley Cyrus!"
That was the zinger, Harkens thought. The phrase he had been building toward for the last ten minutes, and all he got was a chuckle from the odd New Yorker born-bgain Christians, who were hoping against hope that their champion could score a point against the great Sol Harkens.
But the audience, by and large, was made up of Bernie Sanders millennials.
Book posters on either side of the stage hawked the debaters' various tomes, Aborting God: The Reasoned Choice on one side and Fournier's flat-footed title, A Return to Faith, on the other.
Fascinating, Harkens thought to himself, I've got a Bible-thumper who's appealing to reason, rather than emotion. And thus, like an ambidextrous middleweight who, with lightning speed, could switch from right-hander to southpaw, Harkens made the instant choice to dump his prearranged and long ago prepackaged, logical dismantling of Christian doctrine in favor of enough snarky sarcasm to make Rachel Maddow look like a contemplative nun and some pure, raw, one might even say evangelical, emotion. If this bozo wanted to boogie with Harkens as an intellectual equal, Sol would lie back on the imaginary ropes, let him punch himself out, and then spring back as an evangelist of atheism. He was as much of a tent- show huckster as any snake-oil salesman, with one vital difference: Harkens believed, with his heart and soul and every fiber of his being, his own sales pitch.
Sol laid back and waited for his moment, and Fournier offered it up like a punched-out George Foreman telegraphing a wild left hook that left an opening through which a Mack Truck could maneuver.
"Now then," said Fournier, "the basic tenet of Christianity is —"
And that was the moment the Ali in Harkens danced off the ropes and restarted the fight, on his own terms.
"Whoa! I'm sorry! Bzzzt. Coach's time out!" Harkens said with his rakish grin, holding up the coach's "T" symbol in the seventh game of the NBA finals of his mind.
"I think I might at least be afforded the common courtesy of completing my opening statement," Fournier harrumphed, rather like Foghorn Leghorn saying, "Now, son! I think I might be afforded," etc.
The moderator, a pinch-nosed woman who spoke in a nasal New York twang not unlike a certain cable news reporter married to a former chairman of the Fed, intoned solemnly, "Dr. Harkens, the rules of the debate were agreed upon by both you and Dr. Fournier."
"And," said Sol, agreeably, "I believe the rules also included the topic of the debate, which was not, quote, The Basic Tenet of Christianity, close quote, but, quote, The Existence of God, colon, Harmless Belief, comma, Blessing, comma, or Curse, question mark, close quote. You're not up here speaking for Christians, which covers a pretty broad spectrum of yahoos. I mean, Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists — whom I don't think your guys actually believe are completely kosher — Pentecostals, Baptists, throw in a snake charmer or two, some holy rollers, and the church, dare I say, of Christian, pardon the expression, Science, and you've got a pretty heavy load. Nay, you are too modest, sir. Nor are you here as an expert on Darwinism. You are here, my dear Doctor Fournier, speaking for the Father, the Great Bearded Watchmaker in the sky, the Big G, the Rock of Ages, Da Man Himself, let's give it up for Gawwwwd Alllllmighty!" The audience roared with laughter as Sol gave his best televangelist delivery, complete with finger pointing high. He looked at them and not at Fournier, rather like Jack Kennedy addressing the camera rather than the four-o'clock-shadowed, sweating, hair-matted-down, grey-suited pallor of Richard Nixon. "You want to debate that fairy tale you call Christianity? I'll boogie with you on that one all night long. But I came here not just for a little theological chitchat and some canapes but to sell books, namely my new tome, Aborting God. So why don't we just stick to the topic, what do you say, Doc? You speak for the Spirit in the Sky and I'll cheerlead for Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll."
The audience cheered.
They giggled like a plump baby being tickled under the armpits.
They belonged to Sol, and he knew it. They knew it. They knew he knew it, and each was loving every second of it.
"I have to take issue with that, Dr. Harkens."
"I kinda figured you would," Sol replied, coming out from behind his podium and leaning against it as if he were a vodka martini with a twist at Dukes Bar, employing a bit of a south-western twang to which he had no right at all.
"Because," Fournier said, piously, "it is only as a Christian that I can approach God, the Father."
This isn't Ali-Foreman, thought Harkens, almost allowing himself to pity his Elmer Fudd-like opponent. This is Ali-Quarry!
"Those are your limitations, and none of my own. I can approach atheism from any direction: court jester, philosopher, a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, or a king, to quote that other great religious leader, the late lamented Francis Albert the First," Sol said, genuflecting as elegantly as Sydney Greenstreet offered up a salaam in Casablanca.
"But," said Fournier, still holding out some vague hope of landing if not a knockout, at least a narrow win on points, "you still haven't answered my question. If there is no Creator, how, then, is there creation?"
"Once again," said Sol, totally ignoring his opponent and eyeing a semi- ravishing grad student in a rather form-fitting cardigan in the seventh row, center, "though I'm more than willing to have Chuckie Darwin's back on that one, that is not our topic. Our topic for this debate is whether the mythology to which you subscribe is blessing or curse. Can someone get Dr. Fournier a copy of the program, so he can see what we've been hyping?" Chuckles rippled up to him like water lapping at his toes. "At any rate, back to the subject at hand. Why, dear sir, should I believe in God any more than the tooth fairy, which, if you ask me, is a far more benign form of religious indoctrination. At least the tooth fairy coughs up a buck or two for every little canine she finds under my pillow. Your so-called GAWWWD consigns me to Hell for the crime of simply following the inclinations that supposedly He Himself has created within me. That, if you ask me, is rather like a cop planting a doobie in my pocket and then busting me for ..." Sol took a hit off an imaginary joint, then exhaled the final word, "... possession."
"But, you make my point for me!"
"That, may I say, my dear reverend, will be the day."
The intrepid Fournier now sprung his own trap. "God gave us free will, the ability to choose between good and evil. That's man's choice, sir, your choice, not God's!"
Excerpted from "Let There Be Light"
Copyright © 2017 Dan Gordon.
Excerpted by permission of Reveille Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you know God's love, this book will remind you why. If you don't, Let There Be Light.
This is a moving book about a renowned author/atheist named Sol Harkens who is at the zenith of his career. He debates the existence of God with preachers in stadiums while selling pre-autographed books after each show. He eats at the best restaurants in NYC, lives in a swanky apartment, all while enjoying a string of romantic entanglements with models and the like. Sol has trouble sleeping at night. During these nights of insomnia, he swigs alcohol and pops pills while binge ordering products hawked on cable shopping programs. He's always been an atheist, but became even more bitter and hardened following the death of his firstborn son Davey. He died at the age of eight from an aggressive brain tumor, leaving Sol, his wife Katy and two younger sons Gus and Connor heartbroken and devastated. While Sol is an atheist, wife Katy is a faithful Christian. This fact never caused friction in the marriage before, but their separate ways of dealing with their son's death drives an insurmountable divide between the couple. They soon divorce. One fateful evening, Sol is drunk driving and has an accident, leaving him clinically dead for four minutes. What Sol experiences during that time is the most beautiful moment in the book and is sure to move one to tears (if you look closely at the cover of the book, you'll understand what I mean). It shatters all Sol's previous beliefs and sets the stage for a positive turnaround in his life, and that of his family. I came to know about this story on Sean Hannity's TV and radio shows. He has befriended actor Kevin Sorbo and his wife actress/author Sam Sorbo in recent years. Sean told Kevin and Sam that if they ever had a project that was positive and gave hope, he would be interested in getting involved. A short time later, they approached Sean with this screenplay. Within a half hour of being pitched the idea, Sean agreed to finance the movie. As Sean says, so many movies today are remakes of superhero movies, etc., and he wanted to make a movie that was inspirational and uplifting. Dan Gordon, an accomplished screenwriter for decades with many credits to his name (such as head writer on Michael Landon's "Highway to Heaven") authored the book based on an idea from Sam Sorbo. He did a very good job. It was a quick and satisfying read. I didn't get a chance yet to see the movie, but I'm glad I got to read the book in the meantime. Many thanks to Izzard Ink Publishing for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.