ATTENTION: I found this review in my drafts folder. This blog tour is a good month or two old now (the emails are on my old computer). However, I felt obligated to post it now anyway and to offer my apologies to WaterBrook for my error.
Title: The Last Christian
Author: David Gregory
Publisher’s Synopsis: In the future, it’s possible to live forever—but at what cost?
Missionary daughter Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. Abby goes to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died out. A curious message from her grandfather assigns her a surprising mission: re-introduce the Christian faith in America, no matter how insurmountable the odds.
But a larger threat looms. The world’s leading artificial intelligence industrialist has perfected a technique for downloading the human brain into a silicon form. Brain transplants have begun, and with them comes the potential of eliminating physical death altogether—but at what expense?
As Abby navigates a society grown more addicted to stimulating the body than nurturing the soul, she and Creighton Daniels, a historian troubled by his father’s unexpected death, become unwitting targets of powerful men who will stop at nothing to further their nefarious goals. Hanging in the balance—the spiritual future of all humanity.
In this fast-paced thriller, startling near-future science collides with thought-provoking religious themes to create a spell-binding “what-if?” novel.
I must confess, I had trouble with this book at first. After a confusing start, it became interesting, and then collapsed into a bit of confusing. Part of the trouble was that there were several plots, happening all at once, and so it was like starting to read four or five books at exactly the same time. Read part of a chapter of one, skip to the next, and then to the next, and so forth. Because of that, I almost didn’t continue the story. A part of me just wanted to be done, but once the stories began to converge in tangible ways, it wasn’t work to read the story, and then by about half-way through, I was engrossed.
The fascinating part of this futuristic novel is how similar some parts are to my own novel I wrote last year, Volition, and how other parts are so drastically different. At first, I became concerned that mine would be too similar in some of the reality issues, but fortunately most is not so I doubt anyone but me would see any similarities.
I really can’t explain the story without giving away plots. There were parts I loved, other parts I hated, and as much as I hate it, the ending was absolutely perfect. The message of the book, however, is the key. I really think that every Christian in America needs to read this novel. Its message is powerful and simple. The Christian life isn’t something you live. The Christian life is what Jesus lives through you. It sounds like the same thing, but as this book so brilliantly demonstrates, they are not.
Read the book. If you don’t win it from my blog, go to amazon.com, to your local store, or to the library and get the book. Wade through the beginning… I bet most people didn’t have the trouble I did, but even if they did, it’s worth it, and read the book. Compare what the author teaches through the story with scripture. Be a Berean. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Well, unless you want a Pharisaical life filled with human attempts to live a life that only Jesus can do for you.
I have two copies generously provided by Multnomah/WaterBrook. I am giving away both copies. Simply leave a comment and tell me why you think we tend to grasp the Christian walk is something we do rather than something Christ does through us.