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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The List, by Robert Whitlow

I haven't read much faith fiction, and I guess I'm prejudiced against it. My idea of faith fiction is that a wholesome, beautiful Christian girl falls in love with a non-believer, and is tempted to marry him. She doesn't, until he becomes a believer. Then they get married, and live happily ever after. Sometimes, it's the man who is a Christian, and the plot goes in reverse. Why don't these people just fall in love with people who are already Christians? I guess I don't really get it all. Sorry.

I did recently read Robert Whitlow's The List (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2000). The book won a Christy award, so I guess it qualifies as faith fiction. In this case, it's the man who gets converted. The book is set in the Carolinas, with a little excursion to Michigan, probably at the end of the twentieth century.

Two points I'd like to make. I'm not giving away the plot. Suffice it to say that the book is a real page-turner.

The first point is that the book presents spiritual warfare, and evil spirits, as if they are real. The book made me wonder as to how much that goes on in my life, and those with whom I'm connected, could be improved if I treated more situations as being related to the work of demons.

The second, and it's minor, is that there is a lot of eating, and all of it seems to be high-calorie, cholesterol and/or sugar-loaded, with little attention to vitamins, minerals, fiber, or other dietary good deeds. So-called healthy eating is, in fact, mocked, by some of the characters.

Well, now I've read a work of faith fiction, and, I think, I'm a little better off for having done so.

Thanks for reading.


Keetha said...

What you describe as faith fiction is exactly the type I DON'T like. It is plastic.

Have you read Bodie Thoene? I don't think she's plastic.

Martin LaBar said...

No. I've seen some books by her.

Thanks. In spite of being mostly positive about this book, some of it was "plastic," as you say, and some of it required the suspension of disbelief.

Keetha said...

I also love Jan Karon. I LOVE how her Father Tim walks his faith.

Martin LaBar said...

I'm with you on that one. Not plastic, either.

Keetha said...

No, not plastic in the least.