Three Perspectives

As a writer, I often read a book with double vision. First, I try to become immersed in the story as every reader does. I also read most books with an eye on the quality of the writing. With the books I review for Thomas Nelson, however, I include a third factor: how well the book points people toward God. The Final Summit disappointed me from all three perspectives.

The Final Summit is a sequel to The Traveler’s Gift and Andy Andrews summarizes that book in the first chapter. From a writer’s perspective, chapter two is a better place to start since very little of the information in chapter one is essential to the rest of the book. I never became immersed in the story; it slowed down too often. Fortunately, from chapter two on, the book contains ever-building tension and vivid characters, which kept me reading it.

The reason for the tension in the story is that members of the final summit are required to answer a question in order that our civilization might continue. The question is: What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively to restore itself on the pathway toward successful civilization? With a time limit and five opportunities to answer the question correctly, the characters select five good, but insufficient, answers to the question. I won’t spoil the book by giving away a couple of twists and the surprise ending.

About a fourth of the way through the book, I asked myself this serious question. I searched my memory for what happened in the Bible when nations were at risk. Two examples came to mind: Israel and Nineveh. Many prophets warned Israel that God would destroy their nation. They did not respond correctly and God destroyed the nation of Israel. When Jonah told the citizens of Nineveh that God had decided to destroy their nation, they answered correctly and saved their nation. What answer did Israel get wrong and Nineveh have right? The answer (using the two-word rule in the story) is this: seek God.

The answers given in The Final Summit only make sense in the context of the biblical answer. Those answers show us truth (with a lower case first letter). Built on the foundation of biblical Truth (with an upper-case first letter) they become powerful agents of change in our culture. Without seeking God first, the answers become blind alleys and empty promises.