(Book Review) Empire’s End


Empire's EndReviewed by: Andrew Hoff is a professional writing major at Taylor

 


Introduction

Title: Empire’s End

Author: Jerry B. Jenkins with James S. MacDonald

Publisher: Worthy Publishing Group

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Length: 323 Pages

OVERVIEW

Imagine a man so resolved on thwarting a cause you are advocating that he is actually murdering or imprisoning anyone who aligns with your message and beliefs. This man is so outraged and disgusted by the things you’re convinced are true, he is wreaking havoc on your meetings, your followers, and your new converts.

But then imagine this: all of a sudden he tries to join your crusade. He insists he has changed his mind and he now shares your beliefs. He wishes to become one of you and to spread your themes, ideas, and theological philosophies. Would you trust him? Uh…not likely.

Nevertheless, a man like this once actually existed. His name was Saul of Tarsus. He later wrote a sizable amount of the Bible (after he converted to Christianity, of course). However, the Bible doesn’t say much about the hardship of trying to join the believers just days after persecuting them. Established Christian author Jerry B. Jenkins, with Rev. James S. MacDonald, has taken it upon himself to fill in the gaps.

Obviously fiction, but nevertheless insightful, Jenkins’s newest work, Empire’s End, tells the story of what happened between the time of the Apostle Paul’s conversion and the beginning of his ministry. Starting with the road to Damascus where Jesus appeared to Paul, the novel tells of miracles and possible encounters all over the Holy Land, leading up to an eventual calling to take the message of Christianity to the Gentiles.

Because of the historical accuracy of the details Jenkins includes, fictional or not, Empire’s End provides the reader with a new freshness in reading the book of Acts. If this was Jenkins’s aim, he has definitely accomplished it.

There is a heavy modern-day slant on the novel, which may have been unavoidable, but it is an observation to be made. The way characters conduct conversation in the novel doesn’t exactly match the historical dialect. Nevertheless, it makes it easier to understand for anyone with only a rudimentary understanding of the Apostle Paul’s story.

The ending of Empire’s End is surprisingly abrupt. On the other hand, Paul’s story could expand to hundreds of pages more than this novel could contain. The initial frustration of the quick wrap-up is a testament to the quality of the novel. It will leave you asking about a possible next book. Empire’s End was released this June. I recommend you snatch it off the shelf.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

5 out of 5

Suggested Audience

Adults

Christian Impact

Jenkins’s newest work, Empire’s End, tells the story of what happened between the time of the Apostle Paul’s conversion and the beginning of his ministry.

Andrew Hoff is a professional writing major at Taylor University and a freelance writer for Church Libraries, The Waynedale News, and The Aboite Independent


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