Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Searchers Book Review

The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt was written this year by Joseph Loconte. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I expected when I picked this book to review from Booksneeze since it's a secular site with a section of Christian books.  This book was found in their "Christian" list yet I didn't immediately think Mr. Loconte was a theologian or a biblical historian.  However, he is an Associate Professor in History at King's College in New York City. I only mention his credentials because after a quick google search, I learned that King's College doesn't obviously identify itself as a Christian college (or at all after a few minutes of searching) yet they claim to "teach a compelling worldview rooted in the Bible and informed by close study of great works of philosophy, political theory, and economics. We study Paul and Plato; Moses and Machiavelli; Adam and Adam Smith." After learning more about his employer, it helps put the book into perspective for me.

That being said and with my unfamiliarity with the author, it was the subtitle that caught my interest. Even though, I found myself hoping it would have more substance than a fluffy self help book. And it did.  In fact, Mr. Loconte, analzyed and explored what might have been discussed between the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and how to relate it to modern day society. This is an ancient story of two men, who have just fled Jerusalem after the the crucifixion of Jesus and do not recognize the stranger that joins them on their walk until they sit down and break bread together.  This reality sets the tone of man's struggle to stand in faith when everything around you is doing it's best to rattle you.  How difficult it must have been for the apostles of Jesus to know what to do, after he was crucified.

Mr. Loconte provides a historical framework for what was happening during this time of Roman rule which helps the reader understand the politics of the day.  At the beginning of each chapter, he shares an event from history such as the assassination of Julius Caesar, to King Henry II separation from the Catholic Church, to the African Slave Trade of the 1700's, to a 1995 Baltimore Orioles vs. California Angels game. He then ties it to the struggles we face as we strive for a world of justice and peace.  Again and again, he examines man's history of struggles such as war, assassinations, conspiracies and revolutions.  We seem to repeat the same mistakes that Jesus encountered when he preached the gospel. Yet as Mr Loconte states "Through it all is an urgent and transcendent message: God has worked behind the scenes of history, deep within culture and society --incognito-- to reclaim the human race from a desperate tragedy of its own making."

In conclusion, The Searchers, delves into the history of mankind since the time of Jesus for a way to find meaning and hope in our own lives. We all become searchers, as we try to navigate our world as we knowingly or not, seek God. Would I recommend this book?  Yes, it is very interesting, yet I do feel like I read a history book with philosophy influences rather than a Christian book.  It's a book of the human experience.  What I do wonder though, is Mr. Joseph Loconte a Christian who believes in God with his heart or does he take an intellectual view as just another point in history that impacted mankind?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


No comments:

Post a Comment