Starting in 165 AD, multiple generations of the legendary Pinarius family of sculptors lead us through 160 years of otherwise rather obscure Roman history. We follow the often very brief reigns of some thirty emperors – often called Dominus. We learn of their military exploits, family rivalries and sexual perversions. But we also become aware of a growing religious tension.
This is a very personal and a very honest autobiographical book, covering primarily the author’s childhood and youth. Growing up in a very conservative Christian environment, which causes him much emotional anguish, Yancey develops into an intelligent and gifted writer. His many successful books and fame as an inspiring Christian apologist prove he has largely overcome the wounds and fallacies of his upbringing.
Tom Dwyer – the ex-professional footballer, whom we got to know during his teacher training in The Little Village School series and is now newly qualified – turns out to be an immensely likeable, too-good-to-be-true addition to the tiny, old-fashioned school at the top of the Dales.
The theme of this book is both original and thought-provoking: a clandestine evangelistic mission to a despotically ruled city – reminiscent of present-day North Korea. Neither talking about the past nor emotional behaviour, neither pets nor religion, is permitted.
Gax is living in the house in which his grandparents grew up in Elabi. He was thoroughly briefed before sneaking in. Yet he is overwhelmed by the rigid class structure, civil organization and social customs he encounters. To say nothing of the intolerable heat. He is alarmed to discover everything he says aloud is processed and acted upon by his automated servant. He personifies ‘her’ with the name Yulra.
I’m sure readers of the Bible sometimes wonder what happened next. Was that prophecy fulfilled? Did that tax collector or that prostitute manage to start a new, upright life? What became of the healed cripple?
Philip de Braose dare not use his real name. He has too many enemies. In any case, as far as he is concerned, Philip de Braose is dead. That was public knowledge.
An agonizing betrayal in his youth had left him with no aim in life. Unless the desire to kill and be killed as a mercenary, hired by whichever of the various regional factions of France paid the most, can be called an aim. In that, he fails. A wandering monk, Hywel, is attracted by a magnificent warhorse. Next to it, in a ditch, he discovers the severely wounded and unconscious Philip. He carries him to the nearby abbey to be nurtured back to reasonable health.
Glory Zone in the War Zone: Miracles, Signs, and Wonders in the Middle East, by Andrew White
One cannot repudiate Canon Andrew White’s frequent experiences of divine intervention, guidance and help in scenes of horrendous tragedy in the war zones of Baghdad and the religious tensions in other parts of the Middle East. His trust in the God who has revealed himself in Jesus and through the words of the Bible is unshakable. He shows tremendous courage, motivated by love, as he serves the innocent victims of war, whatever their religion or faction. And he steps in boldly to mediate in unimaginably stressful conflict situations.