Calling the Unlikely
By Amanda Brogan, Walking the Narrow Way blog
Perhaps you’ve heard the voice before. That inexplicable urging deep within your heart and soul, not audible but just as clear as if it had been shouted to you from a bullhorn. The voice of a Divine Storyteller, nudging you to follow a path you never would have expected.
It is this kind of Divine calling that Davis Bunn writes about in his new “devotional fiction” novel The Turning.
A brooding businessman from Cleveland. A snobby choir leader from Baltimore. A beautiful young oriental woman torn between two major life decisions, and an Arab learning the Christian faith. Each one hears the same message from God. Each must face a unique task. Each must take a monumental step toward forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion … spiritual obedience.
Feeling God call them to New York, these spiritual misfits band together under the leadership of a well-known Christian author to battle a rising cultural enemy.
I love the fact that each of the protagonists is introduced as someone who we normally would not look to for spiritual guidance. Each character has baggage, yet God does not wait till their baggage is gone to call them. He calls them with dirty lives, and offers them progressive steps of obedience to follow. Yet with each step, hearts are rearranged, maturity deepens, and the characters begin to take bigger and bolder steps of faith.
Davis shows us through these characters that we don’t have to be spiritual giants for Christ to call us. We simply need to be open to hearing His voice. He’ll meet us in that spot where calling and action collide.
Interesting, relevant read
I had just slogged through two really awful books (coincidentally, both for my local book club) and I was very ready for a change. Thankfully, The Turning restored me to my normal love of turning pages gently instead of phwapping them shut in frustration.
Of Bunn’s recent works, this is definitely one of his best. I really enjoyed the character development, especially the insight into the antagonist, and was quite sad when the book ended. That’s the only reason I took off a star; I wanted more!
Hope is [Not] Dead
By Mary Dushel, Goodreads
“The fastest growing profit center within the entertainment industry is dystopia… The Generation Xers and the Millennials fundamentally disagree with the assumption that tomorrow is a better day. They reject the notion that the future holds greater promise.”
“Hope is dead.”
And, I promise, from there the book gets better.
These quotes are the beginnings of a marketing campaign that becomes the focus of Davis Bunn’s lastest novel, The Turning. The story begins with one of the country’s largest entertainment corporations planning this “hopeless” marketing strategy, including movies, books, music. But God has taken exception to this campaign and has decided to meet it head on. Five people are chosen and spoken to, directly, by God and sent to make the point that as long as God is alive and well and risen, hope cannot be dead.
This book is a well-written, fast-paced story. I found the characters to be nicely developed. I read books for their characters and I judge most books based on whether I would like to know the characters. These characters seemed real to me. They were multi-dimensional. The evil corporate types were not pure evil, but rather, though certainly ambitious, showed some level of humanity.
The characters who were doing God’s work were also multi-faceted. This task was not coming easily for any of them. They lamented what was given up for this task; they showed fear of being able to handle what was being asked of them. It felt like how I would react if something of this magnitude was asked of me.
The best part of this book is that it leaves you thinking.
Would I be able to drop everything and embark on such a mission, if asked?
Am I, as a consumer, contributing to this bleak outlook that is so prevalent today?
What can I do to help change things?
All worth thinking about.