17 August 2012

The Searchers by Joseph Loconte, Book review

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-13: 978-1595554468


Never before had they known such hope.
In a world drenched in violence and oppression, here was a man armed with a message of peace and freedom. Into lives nearly overwhelmed by grief and sorrow, he brought compassion and healing and the deepest joy. To people who felt like outcasts and aliens, he showed the way home. And then, in one devastating night, all their hopes collapsed.

This is where our story begins—in the valley of despair. It is a tale of two friends, a stranger, and a search for truth in a world gone mad with doubt.

My thoughts:

'The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt' by Joseph Loconte describes what happened on the road to Emmaus and what it means to believers or non-believers.
Most Christians know the story of two friends traveling on the road to Emmaus to a place of safety after witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus. Joined by another traveler whom they do not recognize as the Lord, they share their fears, despair and disillusionment (Luke 24: 13-53).

What ensues is skillfully described by Joseph Loconte as he depicts this amazing journey during a most difficult time for Jesus' disciples. Using quotes, literary excerpts and biblical passages, we are shown a compelling historical look at the emotional torment these followers of Christ experienced upon losing their charismatic leader.

In 'The Searchers' the author compares today's often trouble times with those events with feeling and compassion for any of us 'traveler'. You might say each chapter is almost a book in itself with in depth notes guaranteed to answer any question about faith.

The chapter 'Rumors of Angels' was most intriguing. You find yourself delving in angelic figures such as those who appeared to the devoted women who discover the absence of Christ's body in the tomb and J.R.R. Tolkien's portraying of Gandalf the Grey in The Lord of the Rings. Joseph Loconte tells us Tolkien's Christian beliefs were clearly shaped by his understanding of the divine as he referred to Gandalf as an 'angel incarnate' in his correspondence. I will have to add the Lord of the Rings to my (never ending) list of books to read and see it for myself!

With unmistakable taste Joseph Loconte shows us how the Old and New Testaments are bound together in a singular, coherent story of how a world of breathtaking beauty fallen in ruins was rescued with divine love.
That is the true message received by the Emmaus road travelers: Hope, He has risen!

British scholars Hoskyns and Davey agreed: 'The story of the death and resurrection of Jesus records historical facts which demand the consideration and judgment of every man and woman.'

If the Christian story is true, then human life has a meaning and a destination. As believers we are being given a way to the Truth and with it, we are set free. 

Compelling and well worth 5 stars, this is an engaging book most promising for those of us who seek spiritual answers!

About the Author:

'Joseph Loconte, PhD, is an Associate Professor of History at The King's College in New York City, where he teaches Western Civilization and American Foreign Policy.

Loconte is the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt (Thomas Nelson, 2012). His other books are The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) and Seducing the Samaritan: How Government Contracts Are Reshaping Social Services (The Pioneer Institute, 1997). His commentary on religion and democracy, human rights, and international religious freedom appears in the nation’s leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and National Public Radio. He is also a regular contributor to the London-based Standpoint Magazine and Italy’s La Stampa.
Loconte has testified before Congress on International Human Rights and served as a Human Rights expert on the 2005 Congressional Task Force on the United Nations.'

For more information see (here)

I received this book free from THOMAS NELSON/BOOKSNEEZE as part of their blogger review program.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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