First, I nearly didn’t sign up for this review because I hate writing negative reviews and the plot summary I read at Amazon for Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer sounded more like Anti-Christian liberal propaganda than a Christian novel. But I decided not to judge a book by it’s Amazon blurb and read it with an open mind, or at least as open as a Christian can be and stay true to Christ.
I found Broken Angel a fairly well written, fast paced read that will suck the reader right in. Even this one. Brouwer commends himself as a writer and should be proud of his craftsmanship. It’s not often propaganda of any sort actually makes an entertaining read.
Now, I doubt writing Anti-Christian liberal propaganda was the author’s intent, or I should hope not, but at best, he’s fallen victim to one of the devil’s favorite schemes. Get the Church frantically worried about a problem she doesn’t have so she’ll over-correct this non-existent problem and slide into the equal and opposite error.
In 2006, American voters turned control of Congress over to Democrats. In 2008, we’ll probably elect Barak Obama and stupidly widen the control of the party that wants to raise oil prices and taxes on us.
And Brouwer apparently believes the Religious Right will respond by all moving to the Appalachian mountains, cede the region from the Union, and turn it into a theocracy headed up by a sociopathic (you know them by the company they keep) cult leader named Bar Elohim (either that or he’s intentionally insulting Jews.) I consider that name (Bar=Son of Elohim=God) akin to blasphemy, but wouldn’t be surprised if that was the point. Interestingly, the name choice, intentionally or not, actually makes the character an anti-Christ who chose the Iphone’s descendant for his mark instead of the too-obvious microchip in the hand. (As our friend at Back to the Mountains has noted previously, the language of the actual text references a brand on the skin rather than an implant.)
Oh, I forgot. We Christian Conservatives not only plan to ditch the Republican form of government we’ve fought so long and hard to preserve in favor of theocracy, we also want to ban reading and bring back stoning for capitol offenses such as being a rebellious daughter. I’m sure they’d have dragged out the traditional adulteress, but the author thankfully avoided the cliche and instead martyred a member of the novel’s underground church on the former charge.
In case you couldn’t tell, I find the basic premise totally absurd, down right insulting, and even dangerous.
First, barring Al Queda conquering the
Christian Conservatives believe strongly in the Republican form of government. We call ourselves “Republicans” rather than “Theocrats” and for a reason. Theocracy is a straw man, a scare tactic used by liberals to silence the Church’s prophetic witness. And an old saint I knew once wisely said, “What you fear shall come upon you.”
Second, the reading thing doesn’t even deserve a response. I have no idea where he got the idea we’d outlaw reading and agree to not teach the skill to our children. The Christians that settled this land, all Conservative by today’s standards, raised literacy levels to all-time highs because we wanted everyone to be able to read the Bible. The author might make an anti-Catholic appeal to
No, surely he wouldn’t intentionally insult us. He believes in choice, after all. So he’s totally going to respect our educational choices. He would never dream of equating our educational choices to banning literacy.
Speaking of the author’s favorite idol, choice, I can dismantle his argument using his own bible passage. (In fairness, my own favorite idol, fear, is a doozy.) According to the author, God gave Adam and Eve a choice whether or not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Funny. My bible says (Actually, Steve Rice’s, I’m quoting the NIV, but the emphasis is mine):
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Adam and Eve were given their choice of trees to eat from, except the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of this tree they were not only not free to eat, but doing so was a capital offense. The ability to violate the law and the freedom to choose, although often invoked by the word “choice” are two entirely different things. If Adam and Eve had actually been free to choose to eat that tree, we’d all still be happy in the garden. Instead, a penalty was levied and carried out (ultimately on the Cross, praise God!)
If this scripture is indeed our model for Choice, it would be logically “pro-Choice” to out-law abortion and sentence to lethal injection any doctor caught performing them. (Never the woman. What abortion does to a woman, legal or not, is punishment in and of itself–and there is healing available to her in Christ.) What I mean by that is, if Roe V Wade were reversed and the tenth amendment restored (an easy way to solve our country’s political crisis, by the way), a woman in a “red state” where abortion was outlawed would have as much choice as Eve did when she ate of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
We have a term for the form of government where choice is God. Anarchy. Choice, like theocracy, is a weasel word used to silence the prophetic witness of the Church. We are somehow loving, we are told, when we sit by silently as a generation makes choices the Bible says will end in death and destruction. We are loving when we say nothing, do nothing, and allow them to be destroyed rather than calling them to repentance, and through this, showing them the way to forgiveness?
You will not find that verse in the bible. Rather we are commanded to be light and salt. We are commanded to be the moral conscience of our society. This is not theocracy, or a violation of the “Separation of Church and State.” Our founders indeed outlawed the heinous evil of the
And ironically, the Church’s allowing herself to be silenced, her fleeing the large cities where her witness is the most unwelcome for small cities, in verbally stoning those who dare to stand up for the Truth in the public square, has sentenced far too many Christians to a symbolic Appalachia.
Unfortunately for the author, he still hasn’t presented a logical case for the literal one presented in the book. At minimum, I have news for him. There have been Conservative groups trying to get enough people together to move into one state to cede it from the
Yes, Conservative Christians are (stupidly in my opinion) fleeing big cities and nanny states like
One last gripe. Broken Angel portrayed the evil bounty hunter for 3/4 of the book as a clear-cut sociopath, then had him experience an emotion a sociopath is biologically incapable of experiencing. Besides self-love and anger, they simply don’t emote. They’re smart enough to fake it when it suits them, but we were in his point of view.
Overall, while Broken Angel has its strengths as a novel, it is first and foremost, an implausible, albeit cleverly couched, propaganda piece. Let the reader beware.