This book, as most of the Christian fiction by this author, starts out fairly plebian, even mediocre. I thought it would be like a James Herriot novel...a gentle, 600-page long story about the families centered around a country church. Boy, was I wrong. As with most Xtian fic by Rivers, the gentle beginning with the hack wordage is just a ruse! It is a story about how little by little people can slip into sin...the Devil slides in the needle without the characters noticing. The country church booms and becomes a megachurch...is the blessing from God? Or from someone else? It is well plotted, and even frightening although it is no _Oath_. The motivations of the pastor make sense and there is no deus ex machina to make everything back to happy-normal at the end. Pride has to be chopped down and cast into the fire, forever. Now, since Rivers is a romance writer, there is of course a restored romance at the end...but it does not come without cost.
The most frightening thing about this novel is not how it shows the steady decline away from God and into the hell of self, but that it reflects actual situations. It's not a roman a clef but might as well be one. God save us all.
Francine Rivers did not disappoint me in this book. Once I started reading this book I didn't want to put it down. I love the way she takes the Bible and puts it into a story that we can all relate to. I recommend this book highly.
Another thoughtful and courageous work by Ms. Rivers.
Unfortunately, Eunice (the heroine) quietly suffers along through most of the book, enabling her power-hungery, domineering husband to plow along in his sin so long that I skimmed too many pages. Yes, Eunice's character was upright--but I would have liked to see her practice Godly meekness far sooner in the storyline, encouraging the reader that if one is abused, it is right to protect yourself and your child. Repentence and forgiveness is allowed at the very end, but the reader is left with little understanding of how a wife can move through that forgiveness.
If you have a "week stomach" for a heroine who is a door mat, this will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
This book was more about how easily pastors can be corrupted than a week willed wife. My experience in organized religion is that most pastors are control freaks and most have wives who tow the line. This book very much reflected my life in organized religion (no I'm Not a pastor's wife and never was)I left the "church" after years of reading the scriptures for myself and not seeing anything even faintly like what I was reading in everyday life.
A great novel by Francine Rivers (but not one of hers that I would call my favorite). I do like how, little by little, you can see upright characters falling into sin and the repercussions. Very thought provoking. Good read.
Rivers' And the Shofar Blew is about a young minister, Paul Hudson, who takes on a small, perhaps even a dying, church in central California. Paul is hardworking and ambitious, but his ambition soon overcomes the real purpose of his work, so that questionable means begin to seem justified for his laudable aims. In the mix also are Eunice, his wife, and a newly converted, reformed alcoholic named Stephen Decker, who designs Paul's brand-new church. Rivers seems to grow more moralistic with each book but as usual turns in a strong narrative, posing issues that ring loud and clear if only within church circles.
I love Francine Rivers' stories. She is an incredible Christian author and weaves her faith into her stories in such a natural way. This book really makes you think about alot of things and I have read it multiple times.
Another Rivers great! Francine Rivers' ability to write the truth on subjects that are plaguing our society will never cease to amaze me. This book deals with the pressures put upon our preachers and their families, the sins we all commit (including ministers), and the grace and forgiveness extended by us to others and by God Himself. Completely awesome....I couldn't put it down!
I can't say enough about Francine Rivers...she is an awesome author and one that definitely lives with God in her heart every moment. Every book I read is a gentle reminder of how we should live our lives and how good God is to us all, even though none of us deserve his loving grace. This book is one that is hard to put down. It has shown me how we must love people just as God loves us and forgive even when forgiving is almost impossible. This is a must read for everyone.
Francine Rivers has been given a gift in writing fictional novels. This story is about a young pastor who is called to an old church.
Faced with the pressure of a world famous preacher for a father, and wanting to build God's church, Paul Hudson makes many decisions that aren't exactly biblical. Francine paints a picture of God's heart for his sheep and the wonderful redemption He has for every one of us.
Many churches are struggling with the question of what will keep them alive and growing. Old ways of worship are being questioned and changed resulting in unrest and contraversy and sometimes growth or death of the church. This book addresses this problem and and tells what happened with one church and its pastor because of his zeal for growth.
I enjoyed this book because it was so close to what has been my life as I get older and deal with change.
Francine Rivers delivers again. No surprise, that. Rivers spins a tale that's engaging and pulls the reader along. The major crisis moment had me almost gasping for air along with the main character. Perhaps a little too neatly wrapped at the end... personally,I wanted more kicking and screaming, but as a whole I enjoyed this book and will read it again!
I like how Francine Rivers shows how God uses imperfect people. I felt for the son and wife and really disliked Paul. It seemed to make it worse that he was a preacher. But it is true that some preachers think of preaching as a job not a calling. A Good, Good story. Well worth reading.
There is a reason why this is practically the only book by Francine Rivers that is easy to get hold of on book swapping site. Quite simply, it is not her best work. The characters are thoroughly developed and the spiritual themes are, for the most part, done well. But the plot is fairly predictable and struggles through a very slow beginning. I was also disappointed that the issue of spousal abuse in a Christian home was swept aside and never dealt with. If you are a serious Francine Rivers fan, this is a book to read and then probably pass along.
This book is so descriptive of the contemporary churches who are preaching a social gospel, have continuous building programs and leave many of the people thirsting for more of the real wod of God. It holds your attention and helps you realize there is a "remnant" who are faithful and will do the will of the Lord!
I have read this book 4 times now. It is so insightful in its portrayal of common misconceptions in ministry. It is also very entertaining, each time I read it I can't seem to put it down until I complete it.
I liked the book but it wasn't quite what I expected and seemed to end very abruptly. It ended decent but the middle and close to end was very depressing. However, it was a very awesome story of a wife's faith in her husband and in her God.
This was my first Francine Rivers book and I am hooked. It made me want to be more like Abby and Eunice by the time I finished. I'm so happy she has written several books because I plan to be reading many more of her writings in the future.