Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kiss: An Enjoyable, Wild Ride

I have read several books by Ted Dekker before, and they always prove to be enjoyable. Kiss has continued this tradition. Kiss is written by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, who apparently is Dekker's editor on some previous works. I was a bit concerned because I had not heard of Erin Healy before and I did not know what kind of affect she might have the quality. This book, however, did not suffer in quality; in fact, I found it very well written, so I approve of this collaboration.

Kiss is a mystery thriller with Dekker's touch of supernatural (cf. Blink). I cannot say too much or else I would give the fun of the story away. But, the main character, Shauna, wakes up after a terrible car wreck with amnesia of the past several months. Her father ignores her, her step-mother hates her, and her beloved brother is brain-damaged. She is left trying to reclaim her memories, but some people do not want her to remember.

This story is a good thriller, a good mystery, and a good emotional ride. Some parts are very tense, not so much because you worry about someone getting hurt or the like but because you are certain Shauna should not be telling all the information she is to the people she is. There are times I wanted to yell out, "NO!! Don't say that!!!" and when she did, I was left wondering how this would come back to bite her.

The mystery was well done. It was gave you just enough to have an idea what was going on but not enough to know all the details. It was not too hard to guess what was going to happen, but there were still enough smaller things to keep you going. Actually, there was one detail at the end that took me by surprise.

This story contained familial love, romantic love, intense anger (there were several times I wished one of the characters would kill another of the characters), sadness over injustice done (this book brings up human trafficking and torture, as well as a brief mention of the Terry Schiavo case). It takes you through an emotional gamut.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was its latent Christianity (as C.S. Lewis called it which Dekker refers to on his blog). The story contains a Christian worldview. There is a right and a wrong. God is present (though not all the characters always acknowledge it). It is a Christian story in the same way that The Lord of the Rings was a Christian story, a quality story written by a Christian that upholds Christian virtues and a Christian worldview, even if God is not invoked on every page or the Gospel is not presented to the characters with amass conversion following. God is mentioned in this story. Several times, an old rhyme Shauna's mother used to tell her would come to her mind that contained the three Persons of the Trinity. A couple of characters are Christian but none of the main characters are and none of them become Christian either. They just respond to a situation in a world where there is a God.

At the end of the book though, the authors do give a "moral" to the story: remember your past and remember how you were brought out of it. That is a very important message that is repeated over and over again throughout especially the Old Testament. It is a message that we need to continue to hear today. I think Dekker and Healy did an amazing job fleshing out that message with an entertaining story that I was able to read in one day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gospel Reminders

Gospel Reminders is a blog that my former pastor showed me. Everyday the author gives a quote that pierces my heart and reminds me of all my failures, pushing me towards seeking my God. To some that up: it is good stuff.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Homecomings and Temptations

My computer has been having problems since I tried to update my anti-virus program. That is why I have been absent for a little while, but now my computer is usable (but not fixed….and still no anti-virus). My mind has been a busy place lately. Many things have been plaguing my thoughts, and I can't seem to make any sense of most of it.

One thing I have decided upon: It is bad for me to practice Greek from the New Testament. If I do, I tend to want to view it purely in that mindset and I can't do that healthily. I have taken out Xenophon's Anabasis to use for practice. I am really enjoying it. I can view it grammatically and as simply a story.

This does not mean I cannot read from the Greek New Testament, but I cannot let grammar cloud over the meaning. It is one of those annoying temptations I wish I didn't have to deal with.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cyril and Methodius

To me, these guys are cool (definitely a technical term). They helped bring writing and Scriptures to the Slavs. The alphabet used to write Slavic languages is called Cyrillic because of these guys. They were given the title "Equal to the Apostles" because of their work in bringing the gospel to a massive language group.

Here are some articles to read:

Christianity Today