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-“The Heavenly Man”

by Dr. D ~

By Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway (London & Grand Rapids: Monarch Books, 2002, 351 pages)

The incredible true story of Chinese evangelist Liu Zhenying known to his Christian friends as Brother Yun. It is his own personal testimony along with the reflections of his wife Deling who supported him in the ministry and though many trials and tribulations. The ups and downs, the joys, the victories, along with the low points, failures, and all of the warts. It is there for all to read.

The story begins with the conversion of Yun and the healing of his dying father of cancer in 1974. In the process Yun, age 16 at the time, dedicates his life to Jesus and through a series of miracles is prepared, trained, and sent out as an evangelist to establish new churches and support the very few Christian groups that were still meeting in secret at the time.

The Communist government did everything they could to destroy the Christian church in China beginning in 1949 and very little visibly remained by 1970 and during that time frame Mao’s wife Jiang Qing actually proclaimed to foreign visitors that:

“Christianity in China has been confined to the history section of the museum. It is dead and buried.”

Today it is said by many including the government that there are at least 100 million Christians in the country. If the communist authorities are admitting that number than there are probably far more than that. In fact it is growing so fast that it is impossible to come up with an accurate number. What happened? The House Church Movement happened.

The story of brother Yun gives you a small taste of how that must have happened. How the Christian church relegated to the dust bin of history meeting secretly in homes rose up out of the dust and became the force it is today. It was entirely a move of God.

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-“The Islamic Antichrist”

by Dr. D ~

By Joel Richardson (Los Angeles: WND Books, 2009, 280 pages)

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Christians are looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately the scriptures tells us that a world leader is going to come on the scene first and establish One World Government, economy, and religion. The scriptures indicate that he will be a pseudo messiah and will be supported by some kind of false prophet.

Muslims are also looking forward to the coming of their own Messiah referred to as The Mahdi. Along with the Mahdi they believe that Jesus- called Isa will return as his prophet and support him in establishing Muslim rule over the entire world and economy, and the establishment of Islam as the only legal world religion.

Joel Richardson compares these two end time views and shows how closely compatible they truly are. It is his conclusion that the Muslim Mahdi could end up being one and the same historical figure that Christians refer to as Antichrist and the Muslim Jesus –Isa could end up being the figure known as the False Prophet foretold in the Christian scriptures.

It is a valuable book whether or not you accept his conclusions or not. Richardson goes into detail quoting the Quran and other authoritative Muslim writings concerning their view of the end times. I found it helpful in understanding what is happening on the world scene today with the rise of radical Islam as a threat to Western civilization and the entire world.

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-“The Rembrandt Affair”

by Dr. D ~

By Daniel Silva (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010, 484 pages)

 

The Latest Gabriel Allon novel by Silva. Gabriel and his wife Chiara have retired from the spy business and moved to England to begin a quite life as an art restorer.

Meanwhile an old acquaintance is murdered and in the process a priceless unknown painting by Rembrandt is stolen. An old friend with his entire business at stake since the painting was not insured asks Gabriel to solve the case and get the Rembrandt back.

The affair starts out being a simple art theft but ends up putting Gabriel and Chiara back in their old business and ends up involving spy officials from Israel, UK, USA and Switzerland before it is over.

The search takes Gabriel to Amsterdam, Argentina, Italy, and Switzerland. Turns out the painting was originally taken from a Jewish family by a German Gestapo officer during WWII. It ended up being part of a fortune confiscated from Jews and ultimately ended up funding a Swiss bank and became the foundation of an empire built by a famous billionaire Swiss industrialist.

Many over the years had been murdered to maintain the secret origins of the fortune. In the end the painting is recovered and given back to the sole survivor of the Jewish family who owned it.

I have left out all of the fun parts. A novice British journalist goes undercover to get the info needed to bring down the Swiss billionaire.   

Another non-stop action–can’t put down book by Daniel Silva with all sorts of familiar characters from previous books in the Allon series. One not to be missed. 

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-Star Wars: Fate of The Jedi Series –“Allies”

by Dr. D ~

By Christie Golden (New York: Ballantine Books, Lucasfilm LTD, 2010, 359 pages)

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The latest offering in the ‘Fate of the Jedi’ series. Grand Master Luke Skywalker is still banished and he and his son Ben continue their quest to discover what has been causing young Jedi to flip out and become crazy.

They have discovered a whole planet and culture full of Sith. Ironically they forge an alliance with the Sith in order to address a far more powerful enemy that neither will be able to eliminate alone.

As could be expected there is plenty of intrigue when you add 97 or so capitol ships full of Sith to the mix. The Sith are guaranteed to battle among themselves for supremacy, battle Luke and Ben and everyone else wherever they go.

At the end of the book the alliance is over and there is a new threat rising in the galaxy that could threaten the Galactic Alliance itself.

Meanwhile Galactic leader Natasi Daala is unaware of the new threat and is more concerned about putting down the Jedi and actually have them penned down in the Temple and the Jedi are unable to leave and support Luke and Ben against the rising Sith.       *Top

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-“The Apostle”

by Dr. D ~

*NOW IN PAPERBACK

By Brad Thor (New York: Pocket Books-Simon & Shuster, 2009, 516 pages)

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Brad Thor’s latest ‘Scot Harvath’ action adventure. This time it takes place in Afghanistan. It begins with the kidnapping of a American Doctor on a relief mission by the Taliban. They are demanding the release of one of their major terrorist leaders who had recently been captured in return for the doctor. It is an official American policy not to negotiate with terrorists.

However her mother is an influential media mogul who is close to the President and blackmails him into taking action anyway.

Scot Harvath is sent over to Afghanistan on an ‘unofficial’ mission by the newly elected President (who ironically had just let him go because he was against Harvath’s type of covert operations) to take care of the mess privately. The plan is for Scot to raid the Afghan military prison, take the Taliban leader by force and trade him for the American doctor.

As usual in a Scot Harvath story nothing goes as it was planned but it turns out for the best anyway.

This book is not only a good read but also gives the reader an opportunity to get to know the situation in Afghanistan a whole lot better. The place is out of control but there are regular folks living in villages trying to look out for there own people the best they can in the face of the Taliban onslaught and the counter attacks by the allied American forces.

There is an Afghan cultural bias against foreigners which is balanced out by an Afghan tradition offering hospitality and protection. No one likes the Taliban but at least they are Muslims and many are native Afghanis. Add to that the fact that everyone is armed with automatic weapons and nobody really likes Americans all that much and you get a glimpse of the backdrop to this story and what Harvath has to deal with.

Meanwhile back in America there is a continuing subplot surrounding a Secret Service agent that over heard the doctor’s mother blackmailing the President and this launches an undercover investigation that ultimately could end up bringing down the new President.

A real ‘page turner’ that I highly recommend. The story is particularly useful in providing a better understanding of what our military is currently facing in Afghanistan.             *Top

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