“The Seraph Seal” by Leonard Sweet & Lori Wagner

The Seraph Seal follows several timelines of characters, one of the primaries being Paul Binder, a Semiotics professor in cultural history. While the book begins in 2012, the start of a new era, the story heats up in 2048, where most of the book is placed. Following apocalyptic signs of an expired religion about a man claimed to be the Son of G-d, Binder realizes his role in the end times, and his connection to the four horseman, is more than most people could handle.

 

This book is a work of fiction, and this must be clearly understood. This is not an accurate portrayal of End Times theology. For recognition of the work of fiction, there will be no spoilers. Much like Da Vinci Code, this artistic endeavor takes off with incorrect theology for the purpose of the thrill and entertainment, but these beliefs should not be respected for any serious consideration. Additionally, the written art of this is reflective of DCV in consideration of poor structure. The reader will get lost at parts, and left in confusion as the tale jumps around without any well-formed fiction writing.

 

In all, this thriller wasn’t so much a thriller, but a poorly-recorded version of Left Behind, having much work needed in believability and ease of reading. It is entertaining to read, but far too long to keep attention without frustration, especially given the quality of the work. Readers are better left seeking a different work of fiction to explore.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.

“Nick of Time” by Tim Downs

Nick Polchak, Forensic Entomologist, returns in this gripping Christian thriller. A week before his marriage, Nick is summoned to meet with an old friend. He leaves, and after not hearing from him, his fiancée, Alena, decides her and her dogs need to go hunting for him – hopefully alive. Taking a journey to the Poconos on the trail of murder, Nick and Alena simultaneously work the case, barely missing each other amidst the small town and poor cell reception.

 

Suspenseful and thrilling, Downs excellently presents a novel of good taste. With an ending that lets the reader finish their own personal story, a provision of hope permits creativity that opens for a sequel. The character development was excellent. While dialogue was slightly complex at times, it enhanced the setting. For a Christian novel, however, a redefinition of Christian is necessary. While a pastor appears at times, this character does not provide any solid scriptural advice, instead relying on personal experience. Several elements existed that would challenge more traditional Christian viewpoint: presence of alcohol in scenes, murder investigations (blood spatter, bugs, etc.), and more prominently: the marrying of a Christian to a non-Christian. This element in itself promises struggle, and at one point, the protagonist (Polchak) comes to a point where he questions what lies beyond, but the moment is so brief and underdeveloped that we are quickly swept away from it, as if the writer feared inclusion of religious elements might cause a loss in readership. Instead of including Christian elements to a mystery/thriller, Downs instead removed traditional negative elements to murder mystery, primarily sex and adult language.

 

An excellent and enjoyable read, “Nick of Time” is a great thriller to be read, but not considered as “Christian thriller.” This book adds to the increase in non-overtly religious material and/or questionable religious beliefs for the publisher, Thomas Nelson, which once held high esteem over quality and accuracy of Christian theology. The buyout of a secular firm, and recent transition of CEO, indicate the potential source for the recent lax guidelines.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.

[Audiobook] “Has Christianity Failed You?” by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias’s apologetics (defense of the Christian faith) explores the reasons that many people today have departed from Christian beliefs. He shares personal experiences as well as stories…
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Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.