In first-century Judea, the followers of the Way have burgeoned into a vibrant, growing community that cannot be ignored.
Jerusalem is in turmoil as its religious leaders on one side and their Roman rulers on the other, conspire to stamp out the fledgling church. And Abigail, who thought she had finally found home and safety, is caught between the opposing forces.
Two suitors desire the lovely Abigail’s hand in marriage. Ezra, a successful Hebrew merchant and widower with important connections among the Sanhedrin, is looking for a mother for his children. The Roman soldier Linux is fascinated by her winsome charm and possibly could offer the sanctuary, maybe even the love, for which she yearns. But her heart has been captured by neither of these. Will her faith and courage survive a heartbreak beyond comprehension as the followers face a gathering storm of persecution they never could have foreseen? A glimmer of hope beck ons Abigail forward…
What I thought:
Davis Bunn and Janette Oke continue their successful writing partnership with their ‘Acts of Faith’ series. ‘The Hidden Flame’ brings the second instalment of Abigail’s story with the masterful poignant story-telling for which these two writers are so well known.
‘The Hidden Flame’ brings to life the stories, from Acts, of the early church, after the believers received the Holy Spirit. ‘The Hidden Flame’ illuminates the depth of faith of believers who seek to follow the lessons of The One in whom they place their faith. Abigail is a woman of outer beauty and yet it is her deep faith and determination to trust completely and serve God that brings out an inner beauty of greater value. Her story is one of great blessing, deep fear and profound loss, yet she continues to trust in God for His direction in her life. Indeed it is her faith that comforts her in her time of greatest need. Her journey is an inspiration to those who desire to see what faith in action looks like.
‘The Hidden Flame’ brings out the contrast between the focus of the early church and the things modern churches focus on. The church in Acts was concerned with sharing the gospel with their fellow countrymen. They valued solid teaching and much of their time was spent caring for the practical needs of fellow believers. I found this return to the purpose of the gospel refreshing, as I compared what I read to the mega churches of today, that seem to be focused on the appearance of success and glamorous programs that entertain the senses but could be perceived to have little depth.
One of the things I love about Biblical fiction is the opportunity to experience life through the eyes of the characters and delve deeper into stories that are so familiar. Davis Bunn and Janette Oke inspired me to dig into the book of Acts and to be reminded of the smaller details that I am inclined to otherwise overlook.
Guest reviewer: My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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