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Book Review – Blink

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If I am going to continue to read Christian fiction (and it seems that I can’t escape reading at least some of it) I am going to have to learn how to properly review the genre. How do I say enough about the book to provide the flavor without giving away the integral parts of the plot? And of more concern, how important is it that fiction be doctrinally strong? Do we want to learn from a novel, or do we view it merely as escapism – a few hours of amusement in which we are removed from the real world and are transported into the world of characters whose lives are far more interesting than ours? I’ll work through those issues in due time, I suppose. In the meantime, let me tell you about Blink.

My introduction to the writing of Ted Dekker came in the form of his novel Three which I read a couple of weeks ago. I found it an engaging read and saw that there was a subtle spiritual theme throughout which really didn’t make sense until the last few pages. The book ended with a Bible passage that made it all make sense. Blink, which was written before Three, is far less subtle in its spirituality (and not quite as well-written). This is a book about the future. Ultimately it is a book that explores what humans can know about the future, and what God can know. At times I was somewhat confused as to just what Dekker was telling us. For a few pages I thought perhaps this was going to be a layman’s introduction to Open Theism, but I don’t think that was Dekker’s point. Unfortunately I’ll have to leave it there, lest I give away too much and ruin the story.

Blink is the story of two people who make a meteoric rise from obscurity to great importance. Seth Borders is one of the smartest men in the world and is suddenly given an incredible ability – he can see multiple potential futures. He crosses paths with a Saudi Arabian princess (a beautiful one, of course) who is on the run from a forced marriage. Together they hold the fate of the world, or the Middle East at any rate, in their hands. You get the idea. The book features all the usual mainstays of this type of novel: car chases, guns, explosions, kissing, really bad Arab guys and deep theology. You can guess which one of those sets it apart from all the other novels on the bookstore shelves.

Is it worth reading? Sure. It’s good fun. At 400 pages it takes only a lazy Saturday afternoon to read it (or perhaps a Father’s Day Sunday afternoon). You can grab a frosty beverage, turn on the U.S. Open, kick up your feet and pretty well turn your brain off for a few hours. Chances are you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve turned the last page. It won’t blow your mind or change your life, but it will keep you entertained. And if you buy it from Amazon you can get it for only a few dollars. It’s well worth that price.

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