The Shadow Doctor – or is it Adrian Plass himself, in his inimitable way? – tantalises his characters – especially Jack, his young trainee partner. He also frequently leaves us readers in suspense as he delves off onto some unlikely sidetrack, which later turns out to be somehow relevant. The trick works. And, as a result, it’s hard to put this book down at the end of a chapter.
Jack has his list of questions and so do we. By the end, a few of them get answered.
“Can we go to the adventure park?”
My son had just arrived with his children, as they had no school that afternoon. I had offered to do something special with them. Carl’s suggestion was no surprise; he loved climbing. And Sheila loved whatever Carl did.
“Let’s first have lunch,” I said. That might give me time to consider…
If you’re after the sort of flippant humour you might have come to expect from Adrian Plass, then The Shadow Doctor might disappoint you. But I doubt it. You’ll be surprised – and a little confused – by the Doctor’s mysterious encounters and baffling remarks, but you’ll gradually come to realise he has an unusual and uncanny depth of perception, and a disquieting way of exposing shaky beliefs and practices.
This is no pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, eight-days-to-Christian-maturity workbook! It doesn’t offer much in the way of answers. Rather, many soul-searching questions.
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Some of you readers may have received the same message I did today. Here is an extract and my thoughts about it.
Did you know that Jesus experienced sexual temptation? See below.
Down relates Jesus’s life chronologically, including almost all the details from the gospels and adding occasional human touches, such as His heart searching concerning His identity and mission, and that He had a friend near the Jordan at whose house He stayed several days. Such details help fill in gaps and make some of the encounters more plausible.
Eldredge has hit on something big! He dares to turn his back on the common modern Christian perspective on society (esp. masculine roles) and explore the deep, real motives and needs of men.
His analysis is rather one-sided (e.g. every man carries a wound given by his father P.60) and so is his remedy: accept and live out your desire to fight battles, experience adventure rescue your beauty. Read more