Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Recommendation - The Advocate

I am really drawn to biblical historical fiction. I have found a few authors who are quite talented at staying true to the biblical text while pulling in historical aspects and a compelling storyline.
Francine Rivers is one of those authors. Also, Bodie & Brock Thoene accomplished the same in their A.D. Chronicles.
I have another author to add to this list. His writing talent blew me away. Today I finished reading The Advocate by Randy Singer. This book takes place in ancient Rome. It begins right around the time of Jesus' execution. It is written mainly from the perspective of Theophilus. While we don't actually know who Thephilus was in real life (the addressee of the letters known as the books of Luke & Acts), Singer creates a believable and thoroughly engaging character.

In the book Theophilus is a young Roman nobleman of the equestrian class. He has trained extensively in both Roman and Greek philosophy. He is an intelligent man who is concerned with justice and he becomes an assesore (much like an advisor) to Pontius Pilate. He later becomes an advocate (lawyer) who is drawn to defending cases of those who have been wrongly accused.
The first 2/3 of the book is written before Theophilus has any encounter with followers of The Way. He had a brief encounter with Jesus during his trial before Pilate and while it effects him profoundly he does not become a follower himself. This section of the book is filled with Roman political intrigue and vivid descriptions of Roman life. Trips to the Colosseum, and glimpses inside the lives of gladiators, along with descriptions of the Roman perception of the gods, their style of worship, and the role of vestal virgins help to establish who the Roman people were and how a Roman would think and behave.
The last third of the book picks up where Theophilus meets Paul while he is Caeser's prisoner. From there we witness his eventual conversion, and the bravery of the saints.
The end of this book literally moved me to tears. It was intense and deep. And, I definitely believe God's hand was on the writing. This book brought to life a period in time that is hard to imagine. You should absolutely read this book!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails