The Gospel According to Dr. SeussThe Gospel According to Dr. Seuss
James W. Kemp
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The stories of one of the world's most beloved children's authors are both imaginative and entertaining. But a closer look at Dr. Suess's stories reveals that many are also inspirational. In this accessible and immensely enjoyable resource, Kemp finds parallels between the actions of cats in hats, Grinches, Snitches, Sneetchas and other "creachas" with the lessons found in Scripture. Each reflection begins with an insightful biblical passage and features lines from the original Dr. Suess book. Thus, as the author shares his enthusiasm for the creativity and wisdom of Dr. Suess, both the meaning and relevance of many Bible passages come to life.

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After serving 15 years as a United Methodist pastor, James W. Kemp retired at the age of 40 because of multiple sclerosis. The author of the Judson Press book The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: Snitches, Sneetches and Other Creachas, Kemp, now 48, maintains a high enthusiasm for life even though he is quadriplegic. Until recently he wrote with the help of a voice-activated computer. What inspired you to write a book based on the themes of Dr. Seuss?

James W. Kemp: Iíve loved Dr. Seussís stories for just about as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I would go to library or bookmobile every week. It seemed like I always ended up with the same book: Horton Hatches the Egg. I remember climbing up on my dadís lap to read it with him time after time. I never grew tired of it. And this fondness for Dr. Seuss has stayed with you?

James W. Kemp: I have referred to Dr. Seuss as my favorite theologian. All the way back in seminary I began preaching sermons based on Dr. Seuss stories. My new book is based in part on sermons I have preached through the years that have to do with themes found in Dr. Seussís stories. Many of his lessons reinforce messages found in Scripture. How has being afflicted with multiple sclerosis changed your life?

James W. Kemp: When I was fresh out of seminary and envisioned what life as United Methodist minister would be, it was nothing like it has turned out. But Iíve adapted, as have many others who must endure ailments such as mine. It helps to be surrounded by friends and family, including my wife and three daughters. For them MS has become another part of who I am, but not the whole picture. I havenít stopped ministering to other people. Itís just taken a different turn. How do you minister to other people these days?

James W. Kemp: One way is through my website: I think people can tell from my site that I still have a healthy sense of humor and a desire to help other people. For example, I tell people with challenges similar to mine that God is not picking on them for whatever reason they might imagine. Instead, God is in the middle of our struggles and gives strength to us in many different ways.
With Godís help, I have not allowed my physical condition to define who I am. Itís hard to put in a few words, but prayer has become a central part of my life. The crucifixion and resurrection speak loudly of a God who enters our pain and offers us hope. What do you hope your book accomplishes?

James W. Kemp: I am so happy to have the opportunity to have my ideas put in print. I just want this book to give to people what I have always wanted to give to them: greater faith, understanding, and encouragement to become the people God wants us to be. And if we can have a few laughs along the way, that would be fine with me.