Where do you think your soul is located? In your consciousness? In your brain? In your body? What if you had an artificial brain? Would you still have a soul?
Through a coincidence that may not be so coincidental, missionary Abby Caldwell departs from the tribal area where she has always lived and returns to North America only to discover she is the last person who professes faith in God through Jesus Christ. The nation founded “under God” has become completely godless through tolerance and technological advancement. How does she cope? And who is out to silence her?
This novel is highly futuristic (set in AD 2088) and sci-fi. I enjoyed reading it although it did take me a while to get through it – 407 pages of adult novel. All my YA reading is starting to take its toll. 😉
There is a lot of great theology in this book. Mr. Gregory delves heavily into doing things in our own power vs. relying on God’s power. There are very nice metaphors for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – a tree and its branches, a child in the womb. The book does a fantastic job of showing how people can have head knowledge of God but still won’t believe.
I would have given this book an A+ in theology except for one issue. If you are spoiler sensitive, then you’ll want to stop reading this point and move on…
Christians in this book have their brains downloaded into computer software and then installed into silicone brains so that they can be immortal. You might wonder why a Christian would ever do this? I don’t want to be on this world forever — I’m ready for Jesus to come and to head on the heaven! (Perhaps today?)
In this futuristic novel, Christians that have brain transplants and become “transhuman” lose their connection to God. They have a consciousness but no soul, so they no longer have the Spirit. Obviously, the Bible doesn’t cover this so it is pure speculation. My feeling is that our consciousness is housed in our soul (or vice-verse). Being conscious but no longer connected to the Spirit seems tantamount to losing your salvation (let’s not go there). The author uses poetic license in this futuristic sci-fi novel, and he did a great job. I like what his character, Abby, concluded regarding the subject – “I know your grace is bigger than that, and the door to you is not closed.”
No profanity, no sex, no awkward social issues but the book is geared towards a mature audience because of its content: politics/political agenda, science, technology. It might be advanced for younger teens. Of course, they are so much better with technology than we are, so they’d probably do just fine.
Social Issues: The true danger of tolerance
We live in a society that believes that we should be tolerant of all beliefs, no matter what. Truth is relative. What is right for me may not be right for you. But we don’t get to decide what’s right and what is not — God does. By turning our back on His teachings, then we are not being “tolerant” we are being wrong. If Christians do not stand up for what is right (God’s standards), then what will become of the world? The answer is portrayed in this novel.