Persecuted is a work of fiction, but is a story that is written for today. It is very believable, containing many topics and subjects that are in current headlines . The book centers on John Luther, the most popular evangelist of the day, who has an interesting past.
John was raised by single-parent, Charles Luther, an Episcopal priest. Charles raised John very strictly in an attempt to protect him from the temptations of the world. That approach did just the opposite, because John rebelled against all things Christian, and became an alcoholic drug user, a gambler and wife abuser.
After living that lifestyle for years, John had a miraculous experience that caused him to abandon it all, and turn to Christ. Out of his conversion, he started Truth Ministries, that has become so large it is described as reaching "more people than the evening news." Because of the influence John has, he is now being pressured to support a new bill called the "Faith and Fairness Act." If it passes, all faiths will be lumped together into one religion. Great tax incentives are being offered for those who will support it.
John resists supporting this bill. Because of that decision, his world is turned upside down. He finds himself in the middle of a frame-up. It is so scandalous that at the very least, it will destroy his family and Truth Ministries, and might take his very life as well. John slowly learns the ones behind his troubles reach to the very highest, most powerful people in the land. While Luther attempts to prove his innocence, he must figure out who he can trust, and who will sell him out--including those whose friendships span decades.
This very readable story is an exciting thriller, with twists and turns to the very last page. It is a tale that pulls you in immediately, and you will have trouble putting down until it is finished. When reading it, you will find yourself thinking this fictional story-line could become an actual reality any day. Anyone who likes fast-paced, reality-based Christian fiction will enjoy this 5-star book. I highly recommend Persecuted the book, as well as, the film of the same title which is being released Friday, July 18, 2014.
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): This book was published by Bethany House. Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
The premise of the book is the lengths some will go to further their own political agenda. From the novelization of a film that will be released July 18, 2014 (Persecuted), this political suspense thriller seems unimaginable, yet it also feels well within the realms of possibility as our nation, and the world, grows increasingly hostile to conservative and Judeo-Christian beliefs. The novel also touches on how easy it can be for the lure of wealth and power to tempt us to compromise, and even turn from, values and faith once held dear.
Some of the characters did not develop quite as fully as I would have liked, although I did enjoy imagining the actor playing the roles in the film as I read the book. There were also a few things that seemed a bit far-fetched, but this did not distract me too badly; books and films tend to stretch things past believability in these type stories. I enjoyed the book and it kept my attention and made me speculate on the possibility of things like this happening...and what I would do in the same circumstances. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Persecuted tells the story of a pastor, John Luther, who lives in the United States who faces persecution for his beliefs and his refusal to support the Faith and Fairness Act, a new religious-equality bill going through the halls of Congress. When Luther is accused of a crime he did not commit, he goes on the run to prove his innocence. During every twist and turn he finds out more and more about the truth and what is really going on. He finds out who is friends are and who is enemies are. Luther stands up for what he believes in and in the end...well I won't ruin the end for you. Luther stands up for the truth of the Gospel through all that he goes through.
I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this book. A book needs to capture me in the first chapter for me to really enjoy it and this one didn't. Now I was having a very crazy busy week when I started to read this, but I think I would have the same issue if I had started it when I wasn't so busy. The book did capture me further into the book, but at that point I was forcing myself to pick up the book and read it. I did enjoy it by the end, and stayed up past the time I needed to be going to sleep so I could finish it!
I also had to think when I was reading this book. If something like this were to happen here in Canada, what would my reaction be? Would I stand firm for the Gospel? I certainly hope I would!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for the sole purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expresses herein are my own.
The novel Persecuted by Robin Parrish is the novelization of the movie by the same title that will release Summer 2014. The intent of the movie and the novel is to present to the public the possibility of our religious freedom becoming legislated to the extent that compliance with laws that demand adherence to a “Faith and Fairness” law where all religions worship the same God and together.
The main character in Persecuted is a world-famous evangelist whose earlier years were spent in sin and degradation. Evangelist John Luther will not yield to the demands placed on him by the Senator to abide by and endorse the “Faith and Fairness” act. Luther’s act of defiance unleashes the might and fury of political evil in the form of a hired gunman to take-down Luther. This begins a plethora of ruin, deceit, murder, lying. This is an ultimate persecution.
This story, while a work of fiction, should sound the alarm to alert Christians around the world to the truth that we are so near a time of persecution. We are only a short “act of congress” or “law” from having our freedom to worship according to the dictates of our heart removed.
The treatise of this book is I Will Not Be Silent. In light of the possibility of persecution, would you say, “I will not be silent”?
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
”In American, we have become insulated in our lives to the point few people, if any, seem to understand what it means to take up their cross and follow Christ….This is not the case in much of the world today, as elsewhere persecution is something that is understood as part of the package in accepting salvation. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”…This is a wake-up call. Many of our freedoms granted to us by God will surely be ripped away unless we make a stand. This story is just the beginning.” —from the foreword by Daniel Lusko, writer and director of Persecuted
I haven’t read a “political thriller” but after that foreword I was definitely interested to see what Persecuted: I Will Not Be Silent by Robin Parrish was about. (This book is based on the film called Persecuted by Daniel Lusko and will be in theaters July 17, 2014.)
Through many bad choices John Luther made his life rough as he grew up, but God and his dad never gave up on him. His life changed dramatically by the grace of God and the support of other Christians. Now he is the head of a ministry focused on sharing the good news of Jesus with as many as possible. However, leaders in Washington see him as a threat because he will not support their new religious-equality bill, so he is framed for several crimes …and the action begins and continues strong throughout the book! Using his experience from his past, John tries to figure out the truth to clear his name and reunite with his family. He also has to decide who he can trust and who is truly behind this plot.
Persecuted: I Will Not Be Silent by Robin Parrish is an interesting story, yet scary (because it feels so real), but and challenging (because I want to stand up for God no matter what). I strongly recommend it to all Christians—teenage and up, men and women. “It is my hope that this story inspires a new generation to get involved—to take action on behalf of persecuted Christians.” Well said, Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice.
Here’s a couple quotes included in the book…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. —First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. —Billy Graham
**Bethany House has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
First off, I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
That said, when I started this book I wasn't really sure what I was expecting. Well, the back cover gave a synopsis of what the story was about, but the cover art is what made me aware that this was a more serious book than the ones I typically read. The book I started on my lunch hour the day before, and by the time I made it home that evening, I put aside all thoughts of supper and buried myself into the book. It is an easy read, but that's not saying it is simplistic. Merely, the story pulled you in and made you think of the "what if's". The scary part is that even though this is a novel, all of it could potentially happen, if not already in one form or another. For me, it was enlightening. It made me think. What would I do in a similar situation? What would I do if faced with a situation such as the scene in the conference room. I don't know. But I do know, that I hope I would make the right choice and not bow down to pressure or financial temptations.
The main part of the book that bothered me was the constant switching between the present day and the younger Luke. I understand why it was done, but it made me very confused at times. I'd be reading thinking I was in present day, but instead I was back before Luke found Christ.
I recommend reading this book. I found it hard to put down and this being the first time reading a book by Robin Parrish makes me intrigued. Also, I didn't realize that there was a movie coming out this summer based on this book. Needless to say, I'm glad I read the book first without knowing that.
WOW! I could not put this book down! This was a fast paced novel about an evangelist thrown in to the wolves and set up to fall when he will not acquiesce to the growing political climate of "tolerance". I really enjoyed this novel and the implications that it brought on in my thoughts.
I'm not entirely sure about the realistic portrayal of power and political warring that occurred in the novel, but I know that evil is real and that power is intoxicating. When sin is involved, desperate people do desperate things to attain and retain power and position. This is true of sinful man.
The main character is John Luther, who is a worldwide evangelist with support throughout the world. Luther, himself, is a prodigal son that God has transformed and redeemed. Although his ministry has grown beyond proportions that he could have ever envisioned, his heart's desire is to preach the good news of the Gospel and God's redeeming power. Because of Luther's great influence, he is asked to lend his support to a "religious-equality bill" that would validate the current day ideology of all religion begin equal. Since Luther believes whole-heartedly the truth found in John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He is unable to fall in line with the political powerhouses and as a result he must face the biggest fight for his life that he's ever had.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the storyline entirely compelling. I especially appreciated the way the novel caused me to see the shift that is currently happening in our country as we move toward "acceptance" and "tolerance" masked in love, when true love for man would present the "true gospel" of Christ saving power alone.
"Persecuted" is quite a ride, filled with non-stop action from beginning to end, and based on a premise that is sobering to consider. What would the future be like if religious freedom were legislated away? I greatly enjoyed the character of John Luther, a man I couldn't help but admire with his sordid past and his remarkable change that can only be explained by the grace of Christ. I am confident that many readers will be able to identify with Luther's pre-Christ decisions, with his wandering heart and selfish desire to chase after drugs or alcohol or money or women. We may not all struggle with such overt sin, but we all spend time worshiping at alters other than the Lord's! The thought of a "Faith and Fairness" act that tries to legislate unity among religions seems almost bizarre to consider, yet I know that many would read this book and think that such an act would indeed be something worth celebrating! This book is an excellent reminder that persecution takes place every day, both in North America, and especially around the world, and that we need to be spiritually on our guard. I did find a few of the plot elements were difficult to swallow (I hesitate to say more for fear of spoiling to plot), but this didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the book. Rather, I found myself entertained from start to finish, and found the authors did a good job at balancing the scenes taking place in present time, where John was racing for his life, with those scenes from his past which provide such a powerful contrast for illustrating God's power and love for us all.
I award this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and believe that both male and female readers will enjoy this solid read, one that will leave them deep in thought about whether we are willing to stand up for Christ, no matter the cost.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Persecuted: I Will Not be Silent by Robin Parrish is the next Christian fiction by this author. It will make the reader think, "What would I do if I were no longer allowed to express my religious beliefs?, what if all religions were so watered down that none disagreed with another? " Would we all then be one happy group of people who all believed alike or would we merely be a group of lukewarm believers? or non believers? Who knows we would all be alike---maybe. When would we recognize that instead of giving freedom to worship to everyone we have instead watered down our Christian faith to such a degree that it doesn't look any different than any other religion or for that matter any non religion either. Will our freedom to worship as a Christian be subtly be wiped away bit by bit until it is gone? We think that we know what we would do if a government entity tries to take over that we would fight to the death but what if our own government slickly passes law after law ever so slightly nips away at our freedom to worship. Will I notice? Will you?
John Luther is a well known well loved evangelistic pastor of the TV screen. He loves his wife and daughter though his career takes him away from home more and more of the time. He is the person that the government workers come to when they have a question about religion. His long time friend Senator Donald Harrison is constantly calling him to indorse his bill, the Faith and Fairness Act, which John believes would water down religion in order to appease the masses and get Don more votes of course. When John will not agree, Donald calls on the help of a hit man to solve his problem and further his own political agenda. This starts the ball rolling in ways that neither could have predicted.
This is a suspense filled book. People who love religious reading will love it. Persons who read murder mysteries will love it. This book has something that many readers of many genres will enjoy. It is an adult book and describes murders and a sex crims but anyone from the age of high school and possibly middle school age will enjoy this book.
I received this book from Bethany House which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always enjoyed books by Robin Parrish. “Nightmare” and “Offworld” were probably my two favorites, but they were both still hard for me to get through. I’ve always thought that I enjoyed edgier, sci-fi type novels, but I never could quite get a feel for his writing. When this book came up as being available to review, I thought I would give him another try. I’ll say right now, I’m glad that I did.
John Luther has risen to the top as the leader of one of the country’s premiere religious organizations. If he’ll just lend his support behind a new sweeping religious freedoms act, he and his organization should be in a great position to reap some huge financial gains. That is IF he’ll lend his support. And if he doesn’t, he stands to put his life and those around him into grave danger. As John stops to assist a young teenager on the way home, the unthinkable happens. Waking up, the young lady is dead and his life has been turned upside down. The police have all the information to arrest him for her murder, but John is on the run in an attempt to clear his name. Is anywhere safe for John to hide? Will anyone believe his story and offer to help him? Who is behind this obvious setup and what is their motive? Run as fast as you can, and go BUY THIS BOOK!
This book is a novelization of an upcoming movie to be released towards the middle of July. When I see that there is a novelization, I always wonder the whole “which came first, the chicken of the egg”. With this book, I didn’t really care. As I read through this book, I could envision it being made into a terrific movie. The plot lines were so pertinent to today’s affairs, from the political atmosphere we live in to the religious persecution that seems to creep in ever closer here in America. The characters are flawed but flawed to the point that only because of their past can they be successful in the present. This type of writing, to me, is what epitomizes a great author. Someone that can take everyday actionable events and turn them into a white-knuckle novel.
Is this a "guy's book"? This is truly a guy’s book, but I know some women who would like it too. There isn’t any hint of romance in this book, as almost from the beginning you are catapulted into the action of a man on the run trying to save everything he has. The chase scenes, the plot twists and the intrigue all combine to make this a must read by any man that I know.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.