The Last Christian

The Last Christian

by David Gregory


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400074976
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/04/2010
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 505,308
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

DAVID GREGORY is the best-selling author of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, A Day with a Perfect Stranger, The Next Level, and the co author of the nonfiction book, The Rest of the Gospel. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion, sociology and communications. He holds master's degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and the University of North Texas. A native of Texas, he now lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Read an Excerpt

The Last Christian

A Novel
By David Gregory

WaterBrook Press

Copyright © 2010 David Gregory
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781400074976

APRIL 3, 2088
“I see your neurons firing, Ray.”
The voice was familiar, one Ray Caldwell had known for decades. Bryson Nichols’s face came into view overhead.
I must be on my back.
He had no such sensation. He tried to turn his head to the right, then the left. It didn’t respond. He tried moving his fingers. No sensation. Nothing. Panic swept through him. He was paralyzed.
“I brought you back to consciousness to let you know about the procedure.”
The procedure. On whom? There were no more procedures scheduled. Caldwell had canceled them all. Nichols’s face slid in and out of view as he hovered above and behind, wielding surgical instruments with which Caldwell was all too familiar.
No…He wouldn’t…
Nichols spoke calmly as he worked. “I do so apologize for having drugged you. But it was the only way. You know how much I’ve valued our working relationship—our friendship—these many years. I’d never do anything to jeopardize that friendship.
“But you were acting nonsensically, Ray. Halting the procedures at this point was sheer madness. I told myself it was the onset of disease, that you weren’t thinking straight. Or perhaps you were having cold feet about your own procedure. In any case, for your own good, I had to accelerate the schedule.”
Nichols paused, his upside-down face fixed in Caldwell’s line of vision, smiling. “Your alphas reveal your reluctance, but I do forgive your response, Ray. I know that, once the procedure is complete, we’ll see eye to eye.”
Caldwell examined Nichols’s face as he spoke. He was calm, purposeful, self-assured. No trace of consternation concerning the crime he was about to commit.
“Oh, Ray, to be free at last from the constraints of biological intelligence. How I wish I were in your shoes!”
The room fell silent save for Nichols’s movements and the methodical hum of neural scanners. Caldwell knew the routine. He had performed it himself numerous times, though not to completion.
Think! He had to think. Within the hour he would be disconnected from his biological brain…forever. If only he could talk, he could dissuade Nichols from— Nichols’s face reappeared. The procedure was ready, Caldwell intuited. Now was his final chance to change his destiny.
“…pat your hand, Ray. But I know you can’t feel it. I want you to know that I’ll be with you throughout.”
Nichols leaned closer to Caldwell’s face, his voice softening. “I have to admit, I’m envious. We had always planned on my being the one unveiled. And now it appears you will be the world-famous one—the first transhuman.”
He straightened up. “I could be bitter, being supplanted by you in that regard. But of what value, ultimately, is the recognition we receive for our achievements? Is it not of minor importance compared to the contribution we make to the advancement of our species—of the evolution of the universe itself ?”
Nichols glanced to his right. “I can tell by your scan that you still aren’t in full agreement.” He cocked his head slightly. “Ray, are your gammas spiking? I recognize that configuration. Are you trying to tell me something?”
He turned back toward his patient and shook his head. “You never cease to amaze me. I doubt any of our colleagues could manipulate their brain waves with such ease. That’s why I teamed up with you so many years ago. Always amazing.”
Nichols stepped away from Caldwell’s sight, then reappeared. “I’m putting you back to sleep now, Ray. When you wake up, everything will be complete. Your misgivings, whatever they may be, will be alleviated. You’ll be everything we have worked toward. Everything humanity has dreamed of for millennia. Our friendship, our partnership in this grand endeavor will continue. Shortly you’ll perform the procedure on me. The two of us will lead humanity into its greatest adventure.” He smiled broadly. “See you on the other side.”
With all his will Ray Caldwell commanded his arms to move, his legs to break free from the bands that held him to the surgical table. But it was no use. In a few moments he would lose consciousness. When he awoke, he would be missing the only thing that made life—existence
itself, even—worthwhile. Drowsiness stalked him. His mind began to swim.
Three hours and six minutes later Caldwell’s new brain powered up. He awoke. Electronic impulses coursed through the silicon mass that his cranium now housed.
Terror seized him. He bolted upright and scanned the room. His gaze landed upon the smiling face of Bryson Nichols standing four feet away.
“O brave new world that has such people in it, Ray. How do you feel, my friend?”
Past Nichols, in a glass jar, he spotted the three-pound mass of gray matter that had been extracted from him. His terror subsided into resigned grief.
What he had feared most had come to pass.
It was gone. Utterly gone. He had lost his connection.


Excerpted from The Last Christian by David Gregory Copyright © 2010 by David Gregory. Excerpted by permission.
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.

Reading Group Guide

Following are 18 discussion questions for you to use to further explore the themes in the novel The Last Christian. The questions prompt thinking in several different categories.
Questions 1-5 deal with the advancement of technology.
Questions 6-9 deal with the approach to Christianity.
Questions 10 and 11 deal with the demise of Christianity in America.
Questions 12-18 are more general about plots and themes in the book.

1. The Last Christian highlights a mixture of rapidly developing sciences, including bioengineering, virtual reality and nano-robotics. These developments can be seen for their positive benefits or for the way they handicap the spiritual life. What do you see as the potential benefits of such advancements? The potential dangers? How should Christians approach technology and scientific advancements? Should they take a posture of fear?

2. In 2088, The Last Christian portrays relationships in the United States as being mostly interacted online, on the Grid. Indicators presently point us toward more virtual community and into a certain kind of isolation. What can believers do to understand that community and to foster relationships even as technology drives us further from actual human contact?

3. The Last Christian presents a world in which most diseases have been cured and people regularly live past 120. If you expected to live past 120, what effect would that expectation have on the way you live your life? What effect do you think such a change would have on most people’s lives?

4. What do you think most people would choose: a consciousness without end, as Bryson Nichols envisioned, but also without God, or a normal lifespan with the presence of God? Why? Which would you choose?

5. Is there a point at which the use of technology and an active walk of faith with God become mutually exclusive? In what ways, if any, does your use of technology impede the closeness of your relationship with God?

6. According to the story, what is deficient in Abby’s understanding of the Christian life as she comes to America? Is she suffering from a lack of trying hard? In what ways do you see this deficiency in your own life or the lives of Christians in general?

7. What does Abby’s grandfather Ray attempt to communicate with her? Why does Abby struggle to understand his message?

8. What are the implications of Ray’s spiritual message for you personally? Does it change your understanding of what a faith walk with God means? How?

9. What is the spiritual epiphany that Abby has on the train? How does this new awareness affect the way she sees and responds to things in the remainder of the story?

10. In his lecture to his college class, Creighton lists five primary reasons for the demise of Christianity in the U.S.
(a) Do you see any of these trends at work now in the culture? In what ways?
(b) Which of these trends do you think is the most serious problem confronting the Christian faith?
(c) What do you expect will be the results of the trends you see on (i) society at large, and (ii) the church?

11. Do you see characteristics or trends in the church in America that will prevent it from going the way of secular Europe?

12. What feelings did starting a book called The Last Christian evoke in you?

13. In the book, Abby has some strong reactions to what she sees as the negatives of American culture in 2088. What are some of the things she reacts against? Do you see any of these same issues in today’s American culture? How have these cultural factors influenced your own life?

14. What threats to free religious expression and freedom of speech have you noticed in the news? What do you think might be the long-term outcome of such threats?

15. What do you think is the main inner conflict Creighton experiences with regard to whether or not to get the brain transplant? What makes him decide in a certain direction? How did you react to his decision? Why?

16. What are the competing ultimate realities expounded by Abby and Bryson Nichols in their conversation at his estate? Which reality do you think is correct? What would you say to someone who asked you to defend your answer?

17. What do you think is the primary message of the final scene of the book, the conversation between Hutch Hardin and Creighton? What implications does this message have for your life?

18. What were the primary effects The Last Christian had upon you? What did it make you think about afterwards? What feelings did it evoke? What, if anything, did it make you ponder concerning your own life?

Customer Reviews

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The Last Christian 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
AAR More than 1 year ago
THE LAST CHRISTIAN by David Gregory is an Inspirational Sci-fi thriller set in the future, the year 2088. It is well written with depth and detail. It is very deep and overwhelming at times but it has a great message throughout the book. It is also full of bible references. It is a throught provoking, and very interesting in "what if's". It has betrayal, suspense, sadness, action, faith, a little romance, intrigue and religious themes. The characters will pull you in and keep you there. They are exciting, strong and innocent. There are also evil characters in this story. If you enjoy sci-fi thrillers, and throught provoking that leave you wondering about the future of Christianity in the modern world this is definate the book for you. This book was received for review from Waterbrook and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and Random House Publishing.
JodyJ More than 1 year ago
My review of the book The Last Christian. In the future tolerance has come to pass and Christianity no longer exists. Abigail Caldwell grew up in a remote jungle in Papua New Guinea. A disease killed her village, forcing her into a real world that she has no connection to. It is almost scary how easily the reader can imagine the circumstances in the story coming to pass. It is a little eerie to think this may not be so far in the future anymore for us. The faith aspect of this story is very thought provoking, the reader will definitely look at the gospel in a brand new light. There is a heavy focus on life, a little love, and tolerance that is not so tolerant. This book was provided to me for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
wanttoreadBM More than 1 year ago
A good read with enough action and mystery to keep you reading. The Christian message is clear as you progress through the story. I would recommend it.
John Resler More than 1 year ago
It is not a great leap to see a day when Christ's message is viewed as hate speech. The criticism and ridicule of a non-conformist are accurate and Orwellian. A good read for anyone but reassurance for the Christian.
Chella Charles More than 1 year ago
Good books entertain you. Great books make you think in ways you never have before. The Last Christian is a great book.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
It's the year 2088 and Abby is the only person to survive when a strange disease spreads. Abby goes out in search of others survivors. Her grandpa sends a word telling her to spread the word of Jesus. Little did she know, the entire human race could obtain eternal life and her grandfather was partially to blame. The brain replacement project is already in use. Will Abby be successful in her attempts to remind everyone of a higher power or will the humans play God and end up destroying everything? The plot is amazing and the author really delivers on each page that you turn. A total thrill ride.
Richele More than 1 year ago
If you read one book this summer.choose one book to throw in your beach bag.choose one book to bring on your plane ride.choose The Last Christian. From the moment I read the summary I was intrigued. I had high hopes that his book would be excellent. I was not let down! From the first page you will be taken on a ride to rival any roller coaster. Be sure to start this book when you have the time to devote as you will NOT want to put it down. Not only is the book exciting, it is well written, characters are realistic and well developed and concept though wild draws you in and never lets go. I would mark this as my favorite summer read and summer had barely begun!
AnAvidReaderNJ More than 1 year ago
When I agreed to review this book, I was not thrilled about it to be honest. I do not like science fiction, never have. But I have to say this book was amazing. They way the author tied together the past and the present was seamless. Abby Caldwell was the perfect leading lady and the flow of the story was excellent. From a Christian perspective, there are many lessons to be learned: Abby's bravery and steadfastness about confessing her faith, people making the ultimate sacrifice for others, the thought of what could happen if we remain cavalier about our Christian faith. I would highly recommend this book and I just may read it again myself! This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of review. The opinons expressed are my own!
FaithfulFoliosvLogReviews More than 1 year ago
Vertical Reach = 4 Abby doesn't give thorough details about what she prays or what passages she reads in her bible but I love that she acknowledges doing them at all. Lotsa CBA christian fiction doesn't even elude to this I liked this character so much she was real to me. Ministry Message = 3 The message I believe is to have faith in God and spread his word no matter what. I hope I didn't miss it the storyline held me so captive I didn't really grab a lot of message. Craft = 5 I love good plot and great characters. This novel has both not to mention it has captivating details and dialogue. This is the only end time novel I believe I've ever enjoyed. Aesthetics = 5 If I saw this book in a book store the title and cover alone would make me stop and pick it up. Good job Waterbook Press design team. LOVE IT!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 2088, the unknown disease has devastated the small Inisi village. Desperate, Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell leaves the jungle for the first time in eight years seeking help for those surviving. She is found dehydrated and taken to Meriden Hospital in Lae where she is treated by American Dr. Kate Sampson. The two women fly by helicopter to the village only to find everyone dead. Grieving as she loved the villagers, Abby goes to America after receiving an odd missive from her neuroscientist grandfather, an inventor of brain transplants. She is stunned to find Christianity is dead in America, but she vows to lead the crusade to bring it back from the grave. However, her grandfather is also dead. His death leads her to History Professor Creighton Daniels, whose father like Abby's grandfather and villagers suddenly died. The duo join forces to investigate what is going on. They soon discover a plot to evolve mankind into eternal non-believers transhumans with silicon based brains and no one will stop them; not even two people grounded in faith that God created Adam and Eve. The Last Christian is a terrific futuristic thriller in which the religious elements come across (no pun intended) as powerful and refreshing while the political spin felt mechanical, a rehashing of early twenty-first century DC paralysis. Fast-paced with two strong believers as champions, sub-genre fans will want to join these David's as they battle Goliaths with plans to make mankind in their image. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No good story line
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The story was great, the writing was pretty good, and I loved the message.
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ilovemy5kids More than 1 year ago
Abigail, a lady who has lived in a jungle has had her whole tribe mysteriously die from a death and she is forced back into a world so different. Times have changed but has Christianity? This book was very hard for me to read. In fact, I started over twice and read aloud to my husband just to make sure it wasn't just me. He said "Are you getting tired Dear?" - meaning you are putting me to sleep - please quit reading. This book did not inspire me and it was difficult to follow. I could not recommend it especially as an easy read. I also could not recommend it for younger readers just for the material that is suggested. Blessings to you! You are loved! Note: I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only. This review has not been monetarily compensated. The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.
Katieb38 More than 1 year ago
I am torn on how I feel after reading this book. On one hand, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was fast paced and gripping, and the idea of a world without Christianity was interesting. There was certainly a lot going on in the book and I had to be sure to concentrate so I wouldn't miss any important hints or reveals. With the exception of the two main characters, Abby and Creighton, the characters weren't really well developed, and I was left wishing I knew more or heard more from certain ones. I enjoyed the gentle and modest romance that grew between Abby and Creighton. On the other hand, I was disappointed that the author didn't spend more time having Abby trying to spread the word of God. She had a few chances, but I was hoping there would be more of an emphasis on it since that was pretty much the premise of the novel. The technology aspect of it was almost overwhelming to me. Imagining a world where everyone is connected by a chip in their brain and can meet up with anyone, anywhere in Virtual Reality is just too much for me.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It had a little of everything in it. The technical aspect of the book was very interesting to me. The idea that all people can be connected to each other constantly was very interesting. It added a new level of intrigue to the story. In this story technology has tried to rid the world of the social ills that had once existed. However it seems that technology has taken one thing away from the culture... The story was pretty faced paced, right from the beginning. And while the technology was really futuristic it was feasible. I think I was able to understand the technology because it is, I think, where technology is currently heading, so it wasn't difficult to imagine. I loved how the story combined the technological society, and that of a non-technological religious society. Seeing the differences between the religious society and the technological society was quite eye opening. The path that was explained in the book as to how society became non-religious is very sobering. The writing was very good. It was easy for me to connect to the characters in this story. They were well written and well developed. I loved Abby, based on the culture she was thrown into she was quite naive, however she was actually a very intelligent character. I really loved this story. I was so easily drawn in to it.
christian_chick6 More than 1 year ago
In 2088 AD, Abby Caldwell emerges from the Papua New Guinea jungle where she was raised as the daughter of missionaries after her entire tribe dies of a mysterious illness. She moves in with her cousin Lauren, a US congresswoman, and soon discovers that Christianity has all but disappeared in America. Abby quickly decides two things: 1) She needs to spread the Gospel in America, and 2) she needs to learn more about her grandfather Ray's death and the cryptic message he sent just days before he died. With the help of Sabin, Lauren's "life partner," and Creighton, a history professor, Abby delves into the mystery while trying to preach the Gospel--and finds herself hunted by a dangerous man. I really enjoyed The Last Christian ... probably because it was largely science fiction! The America Abby returns to is one where people spend large amounts of time in virtual reality, where cars drive themselves, where disease is nearly eradicated, and where even brain transplants are becoming available. One of the aspects I enjoyed most was the challenge Abby faced when presenting the gospel to people who have no concept of sin or of their need for a Savior. While Gregory's world is fictional, many things he describes could very well be in our future ... and with this book, he challenges us to take another look and the Gospel and reexamine our own beliefs. As for the plot, while I enjoyed it, I felt that parts were lacking. The "resolution" was fairly unaffecting, and I wasn't emotionally involved with the characters. Still, this was an engaging read that I would recommend.
WeeShare More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read books set in the future. There is a certain science fiction/ fantasy element to futuristic books that I don't really care for. However, I was really drawn to the plot of this book. I have read the Left Behind series, and this seemed somewhat similar, only more extreme. I had a really hard time getting into the book. The first few chapters threw several things at me- the introduction of the brain transplants, information about numerous characters, and lots of references to various technology of the future. I was having a hard time keeping everything straight! I met one character, Abigail Caldwell, who would become a main player throughout the book. Her story is what kept me reading. Upon meeting her, I immediately wanted to know more about her. Her strength and passion were intriguing to me. I knew that Abby was going to try and bring the Christian faith back to America and I was very interested as to the persecution she would face and how she would continue to strive to fulfill her goal. As the story unfolded, I found myself more and more interested. The things I had not understood in the beginning began to make more sense as I learned new facts and details. I began to see all the characters come together. I really disliked some, but my heart went out to others. The author did a fabulous job with character descriptions and I was vividly able to picture them in my head as I read. It was really emotional to read what Abby was going through. I cannot imagine the feeling of being the very last Christian on Earth and all of the opposition and hate that Abby faced. It was uplifting as well. If Abby can find the courage and will-power to share her faith in a world where she is the only one who believes, then surely we can as well. We live in a country where freedom of religion is practiced and we are free to worship and share our beliefs as we choose. Abby found out she could be imprisoned and worse for just sharing what she felt in her heart. I felt like I was reading about Daniel and the Lions Den all over again. I don't want to spoil what happened to Abby and how she strove to overcome ever obstacle she faced. David Gregory does a much better job of telling the story.
quilldancer More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I wasn't certain I was going to when I first started reading because the prologue and first two chapters didn't seem to relate to each other - oh but they do, and when they all come together the realization of what is going on will absolutely blow you away. The Last Christian, by David Gregory is a spell-binding read. The futuristic setting is wholly believable and easy to comprehend. Although there is much science in the novel, I would classify this as a medical thriller rather than a science fiction novel.