Welcome to Book Review Monday!

Empire’s End – By Jerry B. Jenkins Book Giveaway.

It’s time again for Book Review Monday and another Giveaway!!

What is book review Monday all about?

I love to read! If you know me, you already know this to be true. If you don’t, well, one of my favorite things to do is read. I love it, but I don’t always feel like I have the time to do so. Being a pastor, an author, and a speaker, one of the questions I always get from people is, “What are you reading?” I suppose it’s because they want to know what I would recommend, what inspires me, or what I’m feeding on.

So, upon receiving an opportunity to giveaway some books, it got me thinking about my love for reading, but I never feel like I can make the time. Then it hit me – I came up with a brilliant idea – Book Review Monday!! Or at least I think it is brilliant. Plus it gives me a reason to read more!

Now, let’s get started with – – –

Book review Monday! – Empire’s End

Again, I was very excited when Icon Media gave me an opportunity to giveaway another book. This time, the book is Empire’s End by Jerry B. Jenkins. I have read Jenkins’s Left Behind series and was looking forward to reading this book, since I knew he was a gifted story teller. Plus reading fiction is an indulgence for me and I was long overdue to sink my teeth into a good story.

Empires End

What is Empires End about? Let’s look at what Icon Media said about it:

Empire’s End
Jerry B. Jenkins’s new novel is filled with adventure, drama, historic people and places, and even romance. Empire’s End tells the story of a man who single- handedly turned the Roman Empire on-end. It will be the heart-stopping story of the year! Only a few snapshots of Paul’s life are revealed in the Bible. In this fictional account, Jenkins tells of a devout Jewish scholar, who after only three years in the Arabian wilderness, emerges as the greatest Christian theologian in history. This novel explains how, after supervising the death of Jesus’s disciples, Paul would be moved to effectively conquer the Roman Empire with a message about a Jewish man named Jesus. You’ll be captured by the shocking “thorn in the flesh” that burdened Paul’s heart. Empire’s End will cause you to rethink whether Paul ever experienced the love of a woman or the embrace of a child.

Empire’s End –back cover has this to say:

Mining clues sprinkled throughout Paul’s writings, Jerry B. Jenkins weaves a thoroughly believable tale filled with high drama at every turn. This inventive, page-turning novel is steeped in bravado and bloodshed, conflict and deep devotion, romance and political maneuvering. The result is a can’t-put-it-down thriller crafted to satisfy any curious observer’s longing to meet a flesh-and-blood-man whose mission and message ultimately triggered the end of the great Roman Empire.

 At first, I had a hard time getting into Empire’s End. It wasn’t because the story was bad. I was struggling with the idea of Paul having a romance, and with whom it was. I had to keep reminding myself that this book was a work of fiction and kept pressing on.  I am glad I did, after I was able to finally compartmentalize this was a work of fiction and not fact, I had a hard time putting the book down. As a teacher, when interpreting the Scriptures, sometimes we can speculate as to what happens in the gaps. We ask, and sometimes answer the questions, “What is the story behind what is being said?”, “How might they have been feeling?”, or “What might cause them to respond the way Scripture tells us they did?” That is exactly what Jenkins does here with this book. On the inside cover it says this:

The Apostle Paul is a Biblical Giant who wrote almost one-third of the New Testament, yet most details of his life remain a mystery. How could a devout Pharisee become the most influential Christian theologian of all time?

It goes on to say:

What was the Apostle Paul really like? What went on in the trenches of his life, beyond the pages of the biblical letters he left behind? How did Paul navigate the perilous path from Killing Jesus’s followers to becoming one of their most trusted leaders? What was his thorn-in-the=flesh? Did he ever fall in love, and if so, how did that romance shape him? What thoughts and feelings most profoundly haunted, inspired, and fueled his intensity?

Honestly, I have never thought about Paul having been in love. It made me stop and contemplate, could this have been his thorn-in-the-flesh? I suppose in some ways, when I think of Paul, I think of him as a Biblical Giant, who seems untouchable. Paul had amazing spiritual experiences, fortitude, passion, and zeal in the way he lived out His faith. Even though we know that Paul had a past as Saul, sometimes it is easy to forget where he came from, because of what he did and said. However, the lesson for us is that God chose to redeem Saul’s (Paul’s) flaws and turn them into assets for the Kingdom. Paul, brought the same passion into his new assignment breathed directly from heaven and therefore became the world changer we read about today in the Scriptures. Giving us all a hope that God can redeem anyone of us. Jenkins does a great job of making Paul seem like a real person struggling with real issues just like you and I.

The book ends abruptly to me, which makes me think Jenkins is planning a sequel or two to continue Paul’s story. In the end, I was glad that I continued to press on and finish the book, because once I was able to put it in the fiction category, it was enjoyable.

Be blessed and I encourage you to give this book a chance. Enjoy reading Empire’s End.

Empires EndGIVEAWAY

I just LOVE gifts, and I love free stuff too. So, as promised, one blessed person will win their very own copy of the book Empire’s End. A HUGE Thank You to Icon Media who has generously offered a FREE copy of the book to one of my readers.  To enter utilize the Raffle-Copter below. Also for an extra entry leave a comment on this post. I will announce the winner in two weeks on Monday August Monday 10th so make sure to come back and see if you won. Please help me spread the word and share this review with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you utilize.  You just might change a life!

 

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