Leaven Rising

Todd's Writings

Info and links to Todd's Books, Blogs, and other writtings

A zealous preacher bent on destroying

the bones of Jesus’ brother.


A lost ancestor trapped in an insane asylum, holding the key to happiness.


A wild-haired prophet living in

the Cave of John the Baptist.


Are these the normal associates of a sheltered California boy?


They are if you're Thomas Whidman,

a seminarian who's stopped believing in God.


30-year-old Thomas Whidman has life where he wants it: a fascinating new girlfriend, a scholarship for excellence in ancient Greek, and a year left in seminary before a bright future as a progressive pastor.


But life has other plans. Soon dark questions plague Thomas that can’t be explained by the religion he’s grown up with. A horrible tragedy in Guatemala makes Thomas doubt a loving God, and his faith in family crumbles when he discovers his trusted uncle has been hiding a disturbing ancestor for years.


Confused and despairing, Thomas is catapulted into a new reality when he encounters the Society of Leaven, an ancient sect of Jesus- loving radicals who’ve been subverting Empire and making holy mischief for two thousand years. Trusting his guide Paloma—a Zen meditation teacher who is far more than he seems—Thomas jumps in with these desert hermits, savvy ex-cons and joyful anarchists, all irresistible revolutionaries who practice a Way he never heard about in Sunday School.

“A delicious mystery…exploring deep questions.” –patheos.com