Sunday, September 13, 2020

Books Reviews | From A Different Perspective

Several of the books I've read recently are written from a somewhat different viewpoint.

For example, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is written from the perspective of one of Satan's demons as he coaches his nephew Wormwood on how to influence his assigned human so that the individual does not become a Christian. It's an extremely well-written book, but it does take a little effort to keep things straight, remembering that Screwtape's advice is counter to God's Word. This was my second time to read this classic. Here's what I had to say about it after my first reading in 2013.

Each chapter is a letter from the Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, who is assigned to a human and is working to keep him from becoming a Christian. I really enjoyed it and think it must have taken quite a talent to write it all from this "backward" viewpoint - with the Devil as the Father and God as the Enemy. It was convicting in places because I see myself doing the things the demons are trying to get the "patients" to do - like thinking of myself during prayer instead of focusing on God. Here's a quote that illustrates one suggestion for keeping the patient's focus off God - You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favour of the 'best' people, the 'right' food, the 'important' books. About halfway through the book, I began to tire of the opposite viewpoint and having to focus on the fact that it was "backwards thinking." Even C. S. Lewis said that he "never wrote with less enjoyment" because "the strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp." 

The Christ Clone Trilogy by James BeauSeigner has a similar feel, although the story is written much differently. This is a series I would only recommend to serious readers with a fairly good understanding of Biblical views and history. (There is a spoiler in the following review; however, it's the one thing that could cause confusion and lead readers to believe views contrary to scripture.)

A blurb from the book begins: Two nuclear wars. Three asteroids. Demonic madness that kills one third of the world’s population. Into this, a savior will rise, cloned from Christ. It’s not fiction. It’s prophecy.

The story begins as human cells are found on the shroud of Turin, which is considered the burial cloth that Jesus was wrapped in after he was crucified. The cells are used to clone a child, Christopher Goodman, who eventually comes to live with the journalist Decker Hawthorne after a worldwide catastrophic event kills his family. Decker mentors and supports Christopher as he grows up and eventually becomes Secretary-General of the United Nations. Most of the story is told from Decker's perspective as he follows Christopher's life and teachings.

As it turns out, the human cells came from the heel of Christ...the heel that was prophesied to crush Satan...and Christopher is actually the anti-Christ. So, in reality, his teachings are skewed and his actions are designed to thwart Christ's teachings during the tribulation period. I recognized early on that he was the anti-Christ; however, it is possible for a reader unfamiliar with scripture to continue to believe his teachings and skewed logic well into the series. (Remember the Bible teaches that false teachers are subtle and will be disguised - wolves in sheep's clothing.)

I found this three book series very slow and frustrating to read; however, I kept reading because I wanted to know if somehow Decker finally realizes the truth. In that respect, it is a spell binder until the end. Robbie originally read these books many years ago when we picked them up at a Christian bookstore. He read through the first two books again after I finished the series, but decided it wasn't worth the required time to read the final one. These books went in the sell back box and are no longer taking up space on our shelves.

Blood of Heaven by Bill Myers has a storyline somewhat similar to The Christ Clone Trilogy; however, there's not the element of trying to sway someone away from Christianity. Instead it is a well-written and fast paced novel that reads easily and has a sad but satisfying ending. This one is definitely a keeper that I'll read again. Here's a look at my review from the first time I read this book six years ago.

Blood of Heaven is one of the Christian fiction books in our collection that I had not read before. This is an intriguing story involving a death row prisoner who is chosen for a genetics experiment, the GOD gene created with DNA taken from blood adhered to a piece of the crown of thorns (which was somehow preserved in candle wax that had melted then solidified around it), a young greedy scientist who deviously alters the DNA, and a police officer's widow and her son. I thought this was a great read with a satisfying, although sad, ending. (I didn't realize until I pulled the book out to read that it was part of a trilogy.)

Have you read these or similar books? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading The Screwtape Letters when I was a teenager ... Books written from a different perspective certainly keep our brains busy!


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!