Saturday, August 28, 2010

the devil in pew number seven review

in the category of "books that make me glad bill isn't a pastor anymore" is this one by rebecca alonzo.  i honestly never thought i would see a genre that combined true crime and christian literature but here it is.

rebecca tells a harrowing tale about her family's experience in a small community where her father was the pastor.  at first it seemed like a perfect combination of community who needed a pastor and a pastor who was ready to devote himself wholeheartedly to a community.  unfortunately, just like a little bit of bad yeast can spoil a whole batch of bread, one person in the community wanted to do his best to break up the relationship.  while this man wasn't a member of the church, he had enjoyed exerting his control over the congregation until the pastor came along.

reading the book, it is hard to believe that one person could get away with terrorizing a family for such a long time like this gentleman did.  dynamite blasts, sniper shots and nightly phone calls were the norm for this family as a result of this man's anger toward them.  through it all, rebecca's parents teach her the value of loving one's enemies and forgiveness, even of such incredible wickedness.

i'm not sure that i would have been able to do the same if i had been in the shoes of rebecca's parents.  if i felt like my children were at risk, i think i would tell my husband to pack our bags so we could leave.  her parents made a different choice and in the process taught rebecca a great deal about faith and forgiveness.

to be honest, this is not the best written book i have ever read.  rebecca (with the help of bob demoss) tries to build a lot of suspense in the book by alluding to the events that are about to take place.  i finally reached the point where i just wanted the big event (described in the first scene of the book) to go ahead and take place.  there is so much backtracking and hinting about what is ahead that it is hard to keep track of the story's timeline. 

ifyou want to stick with messy storyline, you will read a gripping tale that will challenge your own faith and make you question if there is ever a person who is not worthy of forgiveness.

i received a free copy of this book from tyndale house publishers.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

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