Kearny's "Preacher Teacher" Writes a Book

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David Paszkiewicz, a teacher at Kearny High School in Kearny New Jersey.

David Paszkiewicz, a teacher at Kearny High School in Kearny New Jersey made headlines in 2007 when an atheist student accused him of preaching the Gospel in his accelerated US History class. A media firestorm ensued when the student taped Paskiewicz's answers to his as well as other student's questions. The story ran on Anderson Cooper 360 and was in the New York Times six times. The student claimed Paszkiewicz was proselytizing while Paszkiewicz maintained that he was simply answering students' questions about the Bible. The teacher's most controversial statement concerned the existence of Hell. In a response to the atheist student's criticism of God being sadistic for sending people to Hell, Paszkiewicz responded by saying:

"He (God) did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to Heaven, so much so that He took your sin on His own body, suffered your pains for you and He's saying, 'Please accept me, believe me. If you reject that, you belong in Hell. The outcome is your prerogative. But the way I see it, God himself sent his only son to die for David Paszkiewicz on that cross ... And if you reject that, then it really is to Hell with you." September 14, 2006.

As a result, Paszkiewicz's career was jeopardized and he was ground in the crucible of public opinion for over a year. He survived the controversy and continues to teach at Kearny High School. His book: Hope for Heavy Hearts: Surviving Life's Trials is not about the controversy although many of the principles set out in the book were born out of it. The work is a collection of 12 short, inspiring essays rooted in biblical truth as well as the real world and are not meant to be exhaustive expositions of theological truth, but short, readable essays intended to offer immediate hope and encouragement to the reader.

A book signing will be held at the Kearny Public Library at 318 Kearny Avenue, Kearny, NJ on May 7 at 5:30pm.


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