As a child growing up in the Catholic church, Martin Zender believed that the priesthood was the nearest a person could get to God. Years later, when God severed him from the institutional assembly, he learned that an even more intimate relationship had been established for him in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Martin will never forget that April day in 1979 when he watched the television mini-series Jesus of Nazareth. As he witnessed his Savior dragging the cross to Calvary he was moved to reflect on the event in the quietness of his room. There, on his knees he cried out to the Lord, "I have to know You, I have to know You." The ensuing twenty-one years have been an unfolding revelation concerning what happened at that cross.
In 1993, longing to do something meaningful with his professional life, Zender quit a lucrative position with the US Postal Service to pursue God full time. Combining his love of writing with his love of Scripture (which he had studied independently since that day in1979), Zender began publishing This Here Thing in June of 1994. He wrote to a grand total of seventeen subscribers, a figure that would soon explode.
The newsletter was an independent, mold-bashing collection of scholarly articles and satirical cartoons, written for thinking people disillusioned with denominational religion and its contradictory doctrines. With verve, intelligence and not a little irreverence, Zender cut to the heart of subjects as controversial as death, sin, evil, hell, sex, free will and the devil. His child-like approach to truth, combined with inescapable logic and a quirky sense of humor, soon won him hundreds of readers.
On the heels of his publishing success, Zender became a popular conference speaker. On the podium, he employs such props as umbrellas and Play Doh to help make truth digestible. This was and is his unique appeal: Martin Zender will do anything to bring doctrine to life. Truly, he is the "Mr. Wizard" of the Scripture set.
In the summer of 1999, Zender hosted a live, call-in five-day-a-week talk radio program at the studios of WCCD in Cleveland, Ohio, called Grace Cafe. For two hours a night, he overturned orthodox theology in the studios of the religiously orthodox, claiming the Pharisees to be alive, well and running the Christian religion. One cell phone caller said he nearly drove off the road while listening to Zender. The man's on-air comment: "You are right on!"
Believing the pen to be mightier than the sword, Mr. Zender simply wishes to jumpstart a spiritual revolution that already exists among religious malcontents, of whom there are millions. Like Martin Luther before him, Martin Zender will accomplish this by heralding truth over tradition, knowledge over superstition and plain speech over theological jargon. He brings a refreshing spontaneity and a "go for broke" enthusiasm to the presentation of God's Word.
Martin Zender's favorite saying is: "Believe in God, no matter what the clergy say."
His writings have appeared, to critical acclaim, in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other newspapers.
Martin's books are titled: How to Quit Church Without Quitting God - 7 Good Reasons to Escape The Box, Martin Zender's Guide to Intelligent Prayer, Martin Zender Goes to Hell, Part-Time Sinner (CD), Flawed by Design, The Really Bad Thing About Free Will, How to be Free From Sin While Smoking a Cigarette and The First Idiot in Heaven.