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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann is an intricately woven suspense story set in a little mountain town in Colorado. Focusing on two main characters with an intriguing supporting cast, Indivisble explores the bonds that tie us all - and the consequences of trying to live without any bonds- through a disturbing series of crimes, and a tortured courtship.

Fans of Kristen Heitzmann will find the unique characters and hidden motives familiar; however, Indivisible is more suspensful and action driven than most of her work. It captured my attention more than any fiction book I've read in quite a long time. The disturbing set of crimes that forms a thread through the novel literally made me unable to read it right before bed for fear of what was just around the corner on the next page. I was both hesitant and anxious to find out what happened next.

The character development was more in depth than some novels of this type. While I couldn't imagine anyone doing the things that were done, when the criminal was revealed it made total sense and kind of completed that character. Overall there was a redemptive theme that reinforces the idea that God did not create us to live alone; we are meant to be tied to many people in varying ways and degrees. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter really added to this overall theme as well as the development of the story.

I'd recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good suspense novel, as well as anyone who needs to understand the utter brokenness that occurs when we resist being connected with others.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. 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
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against the Resurrection of the Christ by Charles Foster is one barrister's attempt to present all of the most widely accepted facts and arguments on both sides of the debate over whether or not the historical figure known as Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Foster uses two fictional people - X and Y - to present both sides of the debate regarding the sources, the death, the burial, the empty tomb, the post-resurrection appearances, whether or not the early church believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and where Christians got their idea of the resurrection.

There have been very few books in my life that I have started and not finished either because I enjoyed reading them, or out of sheer stubbornness. The Jesus Inquest was one of the few that I simply could not bring myself to read all the way through. After slogging through the introduction and first 3 chapters, I skimmed the rest until the conclusion, which was not really a conclusion at all.

One reason is that Foster's format is confusing. He lists all of the arguments from X on the chapter's topic, then has Y list all of his. The problem is that there are numerous arguments dealing with each chapter's topic. It is difficult to truly see both sides when one has to think back through a bunch of other arguments. Perhaps a dialogue format would have been more conducive what Foster was trying to do. Besides the confusing format, the tone is often unnecessarily sharp and disparaging of the other side. The content is comes in such a way that at times it feels like being shot at by a machine gun. The lack of context, and the quick blurbs of information that flow one right after another leave one little time to process, much less compare both sides to decide which one to agree with. To his credit, Foster does provide several appendices to supplement his text, as well as thorough documentation of his sources. Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone but someone who already has a firm scholarly grasp on the overall topic.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. 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