Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rarefied Air

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

King James Version (KJV)
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

This blog post will be a fun departure from the norm for me. As most of you know, I tend to blog about Scriptures and how they apply to our lives. I try to be an encouragement to you, the reader, in your daily walk with Jesus. 

However, I am also a fiction writer (having published one book) and an avid reader of Christian fiction myself. So, to take a short break from reality, I'll pick up a good book and immerse in the world I find there. 

As Christians we are to be very careful what we watch, read, and listen to, so I tend to be very picky about what I choose to read.

Around a year ago, I picked up a copy of the book, "Lion of Judah", by Davis Bunn. I first became aware of his work when he did the "Song of Acadia" series with Janette Oke (an author my family has enjoyed for years). So, when I found this book, I was willing to take a chance. I was so glad that I did. It was a wonderful and engaging book and I wrote Mr Bunn on his website ( and told him so.

You can imagine the thrill I felt when I was given the opportunity to read and critique the sequel to "Lion of Judah." I was on pins and needles awaiting the arrival of "Rare Earth." 

As a former Army Medic and a preacher, I have long stood for the idea that Christians are not just patsies. We are not made to simply roll over and be killed like lambs to the slaughter. Rather, we are commanded to fight (sometimes physically, if need be) the evil in this world and make a difference in the lives of others.

"Rare Earth" is about a man, Marc Royce, who does just that. A strong Christian man, he is also an intelligence agent trying to correct injustice and make a difference in people lives- many of which he's never met. Yet, he does it because it's the right thing to do. 

Along the way, he must weed through the mine field of political intrigue, dangerous enemies, financial offers made to side track him, strange tribal customs, and even an erupting volcano. This story has it all: Mystery, danger, intrigue, politics, corruption, romance, action, and the main character has to make it through all this while still standing up for biblical living. Marc Royce has to pray and seek God's advice on who to trust and not to trust, something we can all learn to do.

The action is breath taking. The romance is subtle and sweet without giving in to the tendency of many books and being graphic (Thank you, Mr Bunn!) The politics are realistic. The danger is heart pounding. You can't help but find yourself rooting for Marc Royce to be successful. After all, the future of the Kenyan (and some Israeli) people is at stake and Marc has to figure out what's going on in order to stop it and bring true freedom to them all. Not to mention trying to stay alive himself.

There are many poignant moments that leave you thinking how you would react in that situation. There are many plot twists and turns that leave you guessing about what's next. 

The Characters are well written and have real depth to them. The descriptions of the landscapes are vivid enough that you can almost feel the volcanic ash falling around you. The action is fast paced and realistic. Marc is not made out to be Superman. He's just a man who loves people and God. 

I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did "Lion of Judah"- probably because I was in Iraq in the 90's. I did very much enjoy "Rare Earth." I heartily recommend it for any Christian who wants to read some good fiction and stay away from all the junk the world tells us to read. 

This book is in rarefied air. My only question now to Mr Bunn is: will there be a third installment to the series? Please?