Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Advocate {a Family Christian Blogger review and giveaway}

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Family Christian Stores through the Family Christian Blogger program, along with the certificate I am giving away. This post does contain affiliate links.  I was not required to write a positive review, and any affiliate relationship does not impact my opinions. 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.”

A friend of mine raves about Randy Singer's books, and I keep meaning to read one.  Now I have.  It won't be my last.

Why yes, I did read most of this book in the car
The Advocate, by Randy Singer, is the story of Theophilus, you know, the "most excellent Theophilus" in the book of Luke.  The story starts with him being trained by Seneca in Rome, takes him to schools in Greece, back to Rome, and then to Judea, where he is serving as a lawyer (assessore) to Pilate... including at the trial of Jesus.  He ends up back in Rome, and the majority of the story takes place there.  Eventually, he ends up representing Paul in his trial in front of Nero.

Along the way, Singer paints a pretty vivid picture of life under three Roman Emperors -- Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero.  I've studied some Roman history, and all of that seemed well-researched and well-written.  The legal stuff, well, I can't say I know a lot about that, but everything certainly felt realistic.

There isn't much known about the "real" Theophilus.  There is even debate about whether or not Theophilus was an actual real person.  But one of the theories is that Luke and Acts read very much like a legal brief, and that Theophilus could very well be Paul's Advocate, the guy who would have represented him in his trial in Rome.

That is the theory that is fleshed out in this historical fiction title.

Singer mentions in notes at the end of the book that there are extensive notes on what is historically accurate and where he took liberties on his website.  I'm going to be spending a fair amount of time there over the next days.

My opinions -- I had a hard time getting into the story initially, but once Theophilus was an adult and dealing with the politics of Rome and then of Judea, it was far more interesting.  At that point, I was hooked.  Singer has a very engaging style, and the suspense and intrigue kept me turning the pages.

I've told my 17 year old that he needs to read this next.  Do you want to as well?  I have a copy to give away, courtesy of Family Christian!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tess said...

I thought I had this one but I cannot find it. I really like how he takes deep, thought provoking issues and explores them. I haven't read this one yet though.

Jennifer said...

I am always looking for good book recommendations.

Wendy @ Ladybug Daydreams said...

Looks interesting. I've seen a book like this before (a novel about the life of Paul) but haven't read it. I'd be interested in this one, I think.

Cristi said...

I haven't read one by Randy Singer before, but if you and Tess are recommending this author, I probably should.