Father Elijah | Michael D. O’Brien

Holy. O’Brien’s writing bleeds holiness.

I took a chance with this book. I was browsing the religion section at “So Many Books…” in Huntsville when I saw the tell-tale band across a plain spine that marks Ignatius Press books. That along with the promise of an Apocalyptic novel that wasn’t rooted in American Dispensationalism made my decision.

I’ve never before read a novel before that depended so heavily on dialogue. Indeed, there were times when I had  to skim back to see which character was saying what line! While there are elements of a good suspense thriller here, the story is firmly rooted in theological dialogue. This was a bonus for me—it may be a frustration to others.

Since I’m reading this Roman Catholic novel from a Protestant perspective, there were (of course) elements of the theology that frustrated me. I’ll never understand the importance of relics, for example. Even so, O’Brian’s ingrained belief in the holiness of God and his discernment of the upside-down qualities of the Kingdom won me over. When I put this book down every evening, I went to sleep praying.

This is a good antidote for Left Behind mania.

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