My daughter and I greatly enjoyed this series. While it is a work of fiction, it is also historically and biblically accurate and has an interesting storyline.
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Review 2 for The Last Temple - eBook
Date:September 24, 2012
The book is great and the ease of reading is wonderful. However, the bookmarks for the CBDReader leave much to be desired. I have to scroll to the page I was reading because the bookmark will only take me to the beginning of the chapter (and other annoyances).
THE LAST TEMPLE by Hank Hanegraff and Sigmund Brouwer
Before His death the Christos prophesied that the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. But how can this impregnable structure ever fall? But Jewish rebellion continues as the Roman Empire is caught up in the turmoil of Nero's reign.
As the Jews continue in their defiance after Nero's fall, Rome again turns her attention on the chosen nation. Confident that the Temple will never fall before the long awaited Messiah comes, Israel refuses to submit or surrender to Roman authority. But Rome won't be stopped.
Vitas is conflicted - he is Roman and yet his heart belongs to Sophia a Jewish follower of Christos. Could the Nazarene crucified all those years ago truly have come back to life? As events unfold, it appears that that the Letter of The Revelation is being fulfilled before his very eyes. Does this mean that the Temple could indeed fall?
When the imminent destruction of Jerusalem seems certain, Titus son of Emperor Vespasian offers the Jews a compromise that could save the Temple. But Titus's offer of peace and surrender are rejected.
But throughout Vitas is being directed by a secret benefactor who has entrusted him with a token to both identify himself and to identify one to whom he would have to repay a debt if the Temple were to fall.
As time grows short Vitas finally learns of the debt he must repay, a debt that could cost him his very life. Can Vitas fulfill his obligation or will he fall before he comes to know the Christos?
The Last Temple is the concluding novel in the series that includes The Last Disciple and The Last Sacrifice.
I received a copy of this book through the Tyndale Blogger Network for the purpose of this review. A favorable review was not required.
This series was one that I had always meant to read books one and two, but just never got around to it. Sigmound Brower is an interesting author and I have read several of his books. I was very interested in the historical part of this storyline. When I found out that book three was not coming out as soon as originally thought I decided to wait and find out what happened to the series before reading the beginning if there was never going to be a conclusion to it.
Tyndale decided to re-release The Last Disciple and the Last Sacrifice to generate interest in the Last Temple which was the conclusion to the series. I have heard several people say they could hardly wait to finish the series as they enjoyed the first two so much.
Being part of Tyndale's blog tour I decided to skip book 1 and 2 and just read the last to see if was necessary to read them in order. I will say I recommend that you do read the first two to get a good basis for the story, but the authors do a good job a revisiting the storylines that happened before. Maybe that is what was my problem is with the book. I really got sick of being reminded that if Nero found out Vitas was alive/in Rome then Vitas would be dead. I was beginning to think two different things about that statement, first - I don't think Vitas could die. In this series he had been a soldier that had survived several wars, crucifixion and being thrown in the arena. Secondly - I wondered if the authors thought we readers couldn't remember that for more than 10 pages.
I have a feeling you can already tell where this review is going. I was not overly impressed with it. I found the storyline to be almost forced and light. I kept thinking that Hank and Sigmund were trying to hard to teach us something instead of just telling us a story. I wanted to like Vitas, but he seemed very shallow and only doing things because he was obligated to. Plus if a character in a book can sound arrogant, Vitas was it. I never really warmed up to him.
There was a lot of repeating of details and skipping ahead in time. It almost felt like the authors started the series too early and needed time to pass quickly so they would have Vitas go home and live with his wife for a while, until they needed him again for something. It was just kind of a strange feel to the story. I didn't enjoy it and it made for a tough read. Nothing seemed to flow.
I hated to say this about this book, but I won't be reading the other two as I am just not that interested.
If you have ever read an end times novel, you should read this series by Hank Hanegraaf and Sigmund Brouwer. They write from a preterist perspective on the prophesies in the Book of Revelation from the Bible, and have some very different views from other authors. Aside from the theology though, the book series was very good – and reading only this last book would not detract from the rest of the series, nor is the rest of the series necessary for understanding this tale. Set in Jerusalem at the fall of the temple during the Roman Empire, the rich geography and detailed historical accuracy intertwined with an intriguing and deep tale that describes the ways in which apocalyptic statements from the Bible are fulfilled in the fall of the temple in AD70. It was a fascinating read, not the least because my own understanding of the Biblical accounts is colored by the leisure suit wearing Beasts I saw depicted in the 70s movies about the end times. The timing of the book series for me was even more appropriate as my pastor was doing a series on Revelation at the same time I was reading these books. I found that my own position is that some prophecy in the Bible has three contexts – immediate fulfillment, meaning it happened shortly after the prophecy was written; fulfillment in the incarnation, meaning that the arrival of Jesus fulfilled some portion of the prophecy (even if it was also immediately fulfilled); and future fulfillment, meaning the descriptions of apocalyptic events can still be sometime ahead, even if they were fulfilled in Christ and fulfilled immediately. One thing I know for sure, while I might be able to pick out some things that are clear in the Word, prophecy is complicated and challenging. God asserts that He is mysterious in the Word – and I believe it. Modern Christians have the benefit of hindsight, but if we were hearing Daniel in the context of the times it was written, we would likely have missed Christ, too. My point is that while we can speculate and identify with the prophetic words in the Bible, our ability to identify what they mean in some respects is limited by our humanity. I believe that God will fulfill His word, He will do it in His timing, and He will probably do it much differently than we expect. What does all of that have to do with this book? It’s scriptural interpretation is one that is different, perhaps than those made popular in recent memory. If you cannot divorce yourself from a certain perspective, you are unlikely to find this book enjoyable. If however, you can leave open the possibility that God has given us many ways to look at His Word and recognize its fulfillment, then you will find the book refreshing. My own perspective is this – every Word of Scripture is meant to remind me who I am, whose I am, and how important it is that the rest of the world hears that – no matter the cost. That’s a simplified view, perhaps, but the key is, if this book helps you see the urgency of giving your life to Jesus, then it is worth the cost, and perhaps the perspective the authors provide is one you can at least respect, even if you don’t agree. They certainly write very well. I highly recommend this book, and if you can, the whole series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
This was one of those books. The one that you are dreading having to read but when you flip through the first few pages, you don't want to put it down. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of intrigue I experienced while reading this book.
The main character, Vitas, was one that the reader could identify with. His struggles were credible for a man living circa 67-70 A.D. on the run for his life. The questions that lingered in his mind are the thoughts of many, doubting the identity of the Cristos or Christ and having trouble fully accepting the Christian faith.
The plot is set among ancient Rome’s emperors, gladiators, soldiers, and slaves all fighting for survival and prestige. Imagery- provoking scenarios exposed the gritty truth to the barbaric, and brutal behavior (don't mind my alliterations) so common in those days. I enjoyed the historical elements of this book as well.
The historical elements were so on point as were the scriptural elements. I was interested by the mention of the Temple's destruction.
I am a stickler for reading trilogy's in order but the authors did a splendid job with recapping the previous two books. I haven't read the preceding stories, but didn't feel as if something important was missing, in fact, I didn't realize that this was a trilogy until I flipped to the last pages.
Whether you're a history bluff, fiction lover, or just an avid reader, you'll like this refreshing story, honest character and fascinating plot that is sure to please. I'd rate The Last Temple 4 out of 5 stars. I received this book free form the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
I am so excited to be posting this review of The Last Temple, because it’s about time this book was released! My husband and I read The Last Disciple (2004) and The Last Sacrifice (2005) many moons ago. Eagerly we have awaited this third installment and it’s finally here! I was overjoyed to find it on my list of review choices, and I’m even happier to share with you my thoughts on this final volume in a fantastic series.
As in the first two books, Hank Hanegraaff teams with Sigmund Brouwer (one of my favorite Christian fiction authors) to create an amazing story that is rooted in real, historical events. In the first pages we learn that Jerusalem is on the verge of being toppled by Roman army. The conflict between the ruling Romans and the Jewish people escalates with each passing moment. The tension is palpable, even if you haven’t read the first or second book.
We are also reunited with Gallus Sergius Vitas, called Vitas throughout the series, posing as a common slave to stay under the radar of Nero. (Because of an incident in which he attacked Nero in public, Vitas lost his wealth, property, and almost his life -- and, seemingly, his wife, Sophia, to forced suicide.) An uprising in the market lands Vitas in the most unfortunate position: waiting to die on a Roman cross.
I won’t give details, but suffice it to say that Vitas is reunited with wife, Sophia, a follower of Jesus. (Loved that part of the book!) They return to Alexandria, where they have two children and enjoy a simple life of love and joy. Over time, issues arise that make it impossible for Vitas to forget how much he owes to the men who saved him from death (more than once!). He leaves and returns to the world of soldiers, slaves, and major societal change. Vitas works to rid the empire of Nero and unknowingly becomes the center of a plot to rescue and secure a most intriguing item. (A little Pentateuch knowledge doesn’t hurt here.) In the end, Vitas comes to faith in Jesus, completing his three-book character arc and appropriately ending the series.
Don’t worry, I’ve left out about one million small details that will make the book well worth your time. :)
As is common with Brouwer’s writing style, The Last Temple reads like a screenplay. The vivid descriptions transport the reader directly into the scene and make for a very entertaining read. A fantastic conclusion to a well-written trilogy, I recommend The Last Temple to just about everyone. Bear in mind that it is, in fact, a novel about a war, but the authors never elevate violence over the purpose of the story -- the revelation of how Christ’s prophecy begins to be fulfilled.
This was a Tyndale-provided novel, so even though I’m ordinarily a stickler for book order, I read the last of a trilogy without reading the other books. I think the authors did a good job recapping and filling in what I hadn’t yet read. And now I want to go back and read all the stories in order because this was a great book! Mystery, intrigue, war, the Roman empire… and a family man in the middle of it all. Good characters and plotting, so I think I’d look for both of these authors’ separate works.