6:30 p.m. Friday, Woodmen Valley Chapel, 290 E. Woodmen Road, free; 388-5000, woodmenvalley.org, teddekker.com


New York Times bestselling novelist Ted Dekker doesn't shy away from diving deeply into a big topic.

Faith, God, identity, purpose. Name it, and the Christian author may have written about it in more than 30 thrillers, suspense, mystery and fantasy-genre books running the gamut of dark plots, such as multiple personality disorder.

He describes his books as journals. When he writes, Dekker tackles his own questions and journey through life. In his latest, "Outlaw," which was released last month, a woman lost at sea is captured by a savage tribe and forced into slavery. Her journey is one out of darkness. At his talk on Friday, Dekker will delve into the idea of the spiritual journey he says we're each on.

"I see that my whole life and writing career is one long search for significance and identity," he said. "We all want to matter and be loved. We go through life finding jobs and watching careers and releationships all as a way to belong, to matter at least to one person. And we learn to see ourselves through their eyes. We judge ourselves by how we think society judges us. We feel we must become beautiful, but we never feel like we measure up to the expectations of society."

Jennifer Mulson, jen.mulson@gazette.com, 636-0270