23 August 2013

Book Review: "The Judas Gospel"

Author: Bill Myers
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Synopsis: Judas Iscariot, the Benedict Arnold of the Bible, has been given a second chance. This time, he is in modern-day America, marketing the prophetess/celebrity Rachel Delacroix. When audiences worldwide see her healing the sick and injured, she becomes a hit! However, Rachel has a very checkered past, and there are some evil beings who will stop at nothing to see her fail...
From Bill Myers, author of Eli, the Fire of Heaven trilogy, and The God Hater.

Artistic Merit 

Plot: 5/5
Bill Myers knows how not only how to tell a story, but also to come up with one! This book made for quite riveting reading, especially the last half! Of course, to his fans, that should be no surprise...right?

Writing: 5/5
Equally amazing in this department. Easy to read, easy to follow, and it flows well...what's not to like?

Special Features: 4.5/5
At the back of the book is a discussion guide and an interview with Mr. Myers himself. Also, the book references classical artwork, and each painting mentioned has a URL in the footnotes to view it. Though I tried one of the Web addresses, and it worked, with the nature of the Internet, they could end up being defunct, even while the book is still around.

Moral Content 

Positive Elements: 5/5
The whole book is a criticism of the commercialization of Christianity. Money-grubbing evangelists are vilified for being "charlatans" (Hebrews 13:5). Spiritual warfare is shown as being not only real, but a big deal (Ephesians 4:12). Christians are criticized for being more upset over usage of profanity than about starving, dying children.

Sex: 4/5
Homosexuality gets mentioned a few times. A sexual crime is also referenced. 

Violence: 3.5/5
It is mentioned that a child was permanently injured as a result of abuse. Someone attempts suicide, but is later seen unhurt. A helicopter crashes into a building.

Language: 4/5
The d-word and "j-----s" are each used once.

Frightening/Intense Scenes: 2/5
There's little within the book that isn't frightening or intense. The scenes with the demons are appropriately creepy; Rachel has scary visions/dreams about a horrible house fire; and, a terrorist attack that may be too reminiscent of 9/11 for some occurs. Some readers may not be able to take it.  

Conclusion: Bill Myers is among one of my top authors; I like almost everything of his I have ever read. He and fellow personal favorite Ted Dekker aren't afraid to write hard-hitting, intense, edgy novels that illustrate spiritual principles. The Judas Gospel has to be one of the most riveting novels I've read in a while. That said, if Mr. Dekker's The Bride Collector or BoneMan's Daughters were too much for you to take, you should avoid this and stick to reading Karen Kingsbury. I myself like the edgy stuff; you may feel otherwise.

Score: 4.5/5

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