By Robin Parrish
Published by: Bethany House
ABOUT BOOK: A storm is coming.
The most popular evangelist of his day, John Luther, simply wants to share the Gospel and enjoy a quiet life with his family. He never asked to be at the center of a political controversy, but an ill wind has been blowing through the halls of Congress, and supporters of a new religious-equality bill see Luther's endorsement as critical.
But when Luther refuses to lend his support, he unknowingly sets in motion an explosive plan bent on destroying his reputation and undermining everything for which he stands. His once-normal life is turned upside down as he becomes a fugitive left with only one dangerous option--putting everything he holds most dear at risk while he fights to expose the truth. It is a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that could threaten the very fabric of our nation's freedoms.
REVIEW: I was hooked from the start as the author weaves the past and present life of T.V. evangelist, John Luther throughout the novel. The book opens with a prologue and then John being interviewed by a reporter in current time, “So, John, what is your opinion of the primary tenets of The Faith and Fairness’ Act? And I quote, “To publicly declare your religious beliefs in a way that permits equal time and respect to other systems of faith.”
“Freedom is fragile and costly,” John said with conviction. “It must be constantly protected and defended by work, by faith…. and even by blood.”
Then the story skips back to John’s life 39 years ago. His father had tried to show him how to avoid the pit holes of life. He wanted to teach John how to stay on the straight and narrow path. John’s Dad Charles, had fallen into these pit holes and wanted to save his son the pain, sorrow and regret that came with each fall. John thought his father was mean, old fashion and way too strict. John wanted more from this single dad. Charles never talked about John’s mother! Whatever happened to her? John was afraid to ask.
Then the story switches to current time, John Luther is a popular T.V. preacher and his ministry is called Truth Live. John says, “Tonight, I believe we are headed, as a nation toward a great spiritual awakening. And yet many are telling you that if the government can unit all faiths under this new religion reform bill, that somehow world peace will come. But the bible says, that no government can ever bring peace to mankind… The question is not if attempts will be made to limit religious freedoms. But when. And when that day comes. Will you stay silent?”
This sounds like the day and age we are currently in. The author begs the reader to wake up, to stop and think how they would answer this question. Many are being persecuted all around the world. The movie producer hoped to awaken those that are sleep walking thru life. Things are happening all around us! Pay attention, Listen to that still small voice within guiding us to get involved, be ready.
“All John wanted to do was to preach the Gospel…that was his reason for breathing…He told a reporter, “I cannot water down the Gospel to advance anybody’s political agenda.”
“Like it or not, He was a lightning rod in the public eye. When it came to matters of faith. Everyone has strong feelings about the faith and Fairness’ Act, and equally strong feelings about John Luther.”
This book reminded me of the movie starring Harrison Ford called, “The Fugitive” Like the character Harrison Ford played John Luther is running for his life. The media has convicted him for something he didn’t do. He sets out to prove his innocence. Riviera and Clark are the two FBI Agents assigned to this case. They dig into John’s colorful past. “So, what we’ve got here is a dividing line; Rivera said, summing up the report. “There’s his old life, where he was toxic and self-destructive. And then there’s his current life, where all of that stuff went away and he became a respected religious leader. The dividing line was probably a ‘conversion experience” where he ‘met God’ or whatever. The question is, when did it happen?”
“Somewhere between 15 or 20 years ago. Clark replied. “And this is relevant how?”
“If we understand the circumstances of when and how he changed his life so drastically, it might help us better understand why he’s flipped the switch back the other way, if he has indeed relapsed.”
John seeks his Dad out for counsel about his current life threatening situation, Charles says to his son, “Things are going to get worse before they get better…Don’t you stop staring into the light, no matter what you do, keep on looking into the light.”
I highly recommend this nail biting, breathe taking suspense novel. The message is relevant. This is a thriller that packs a powerful punch in many ways. This would make a great book club pick. It includes 9 discussion questions that will get things rolling at your meeting. You all could also see the movie as a group then discuss how the movie was different and/or the same as the novel. The trailer to this movie looks just as enthralling as the book. (Watch the movie trailer below to see for yourself).
The movie producer and director; Daniel Lusko says, “Writing a movie called Persecuted comes with it a heavy task. Everyone can relate to the feeling of being persecuted for one’s beliefs. Truth is many people feel persecuted, even within the church, but few for the right reasons…There is a power in suffering for the purpose of God, a power few have experienced in the West.”…The story of this film is just the beginning of an awakening to prepare believers for a choice that will have to be made… The question is not if attempts will be made to limit religious freedoms. But when. And when that day comes. Will you stay silent?”
This is a must read! I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. You’ll want to see it too after reading this powerful and moving book!
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Posted by Nora StLaurent at 10:29 AM