Back cover copy
Everywhere we turn, the Internet is there. We access it through all kinds of devices, including some small enough to fit in our ears or wear on our wrists. And what does it serve up to us? Information. But most of that is not neutral. Good and evil, right and wrong, truth and deception, knowledge and ignorance--all of it is available to us on the internet. It is just a keystroke, a swipe, a bing away. In his book A Battle at the Fingertips, James Byerley tells a fascinating, frightening, and all-too-human tale of the dark and light sides of the internet world. Enter the archives Byerley has created. Discover the battle brewing there--a battle sometimes more true-to-life than many see or would care to admit. Entertaining. Thought-provoking. Chilling. A journey you'll not forget.
--William D. Watkins, award-winning author, speaker, and teacher; president of Literary Solutions
A Battle at the Fingertips: The IMFish.net Archives is a Christian fiction, techno-terrorism thriller set in contemporary times about two opposing, growing, closely knit social media communities that clash inside and outside the internet. While one community wields discipleship, love, and evangelism toward online users (IMFish.net), the other aims to spread anarchy, hate, and targeted bullying, especially against the Christian institution (ATH). Subtly, throughout this collision, powerful forces of God's hand support and sustain the former community, while dark capacities (as inferred, psychological influences) infiltrate and guide the latter. As this epic battle takes shape, new truths and understandings are learned by all of the A Battle at the Fingertips characters about God's goal to marshal his loved ones (including those entrenched in evil) and about internet usage as a whole. This novel--divided into historical "archives" rather than chapters--demonstrates how evangelism, especially through the use of technology, can bring about conflict indicative of the current spiritual battle raging, developing at the fingertips of a keyboard. It suggests how God is always in control and, in the end, victorious. It shows how chaos can lead to triumph through tragedy, especially when it is truth and God's love that is used as bait in the net.
A Battle at the Fingertips leaves its readers with a new understanding of four truths that all characters discover by the end of the novel:
- The internet is a powerful tool for ministering to the isolated and lonely.
- Social media members are largely made up of a society of individuals looking for a community to call their home, exactly the type of scenario Jesus looks to for the enhancement of His kingdom. In an age with diminishing front-porch gatherings and ice cream socials, people are now more isolated. These communities are providing an avenue for camaraderie, good and bad.
- Any attempt to make an impact within the internet will always succeed at the grassroots level, a truth the protagonists learn from mistakes they make in their vision of creating an online ministry throughout the novel.
- The fourth truth is the most profound. Some of the opposing evangelists and anarchists discover how similar to one another they are in their counterculture efforts. The ATH community is angry with IMFish.net because they feel oppressed by their ideals. IMFish, net member Aiden eventually convinces Howrd, the leader of ATH, that Christians are persecuted outcasts too, are not of this world at all, and are oppressed mostly due to secular culture. This is when the ministry at the grassroots level takes place, one-on-one, via "chat dialogue format," in the novel's gripping climax.