Sunday, June 15, 2008

And the Shofar Blew

I just finished reading And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers.
In the Old Testament, the prophets called people to repentance by blowing the shofar, or ram's horn, and calling for a sacred assembly. In Rivers's novel, the shofar is the horn on a semi truck that almost hits a man head-on, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
All Christians can fall into the ways of the world, and in this story, it's a pastor of a fast-growing church who falls into the ways of the world, blinded by ambition, and eventually he...well, I'll let you read the book and find out. The book was written in 2004, before the famous fall of Ted Haggard, yet in some ways reminds me of Haggard. In other ways, the pastor reminds me of the watered-down Christianity of Joel Osteen, although Osteen has not fallen as far as the Pastor Paul Hudson, the main character in the book.
Interestingly, a pastor named "David" has an adulterous affair, and a pastor named "Paul" has a Damascus Road experience, and a church elder named "Samuel" tries to warn him before his fall, and a faithful church member named "Steven" is hurt and in affect martyred because of the pastor's ambition. Francine Rivers knows how to use Biblical names with great symbolism in her novels. It reminds me of her use of Hosea in her novel, Redeeming Love.
This book is truly a wake-up call for pastors and church leaders. I'm glad I read it. I'm glad my wife, who had already read the book, said to me, "You're not like that jerk." But I'm still glad I read the book as a reminder of the pitfalls to avoid.

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