Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Company by Chuck Graham

This short novel is an allegory, a parable.
On what became known in the village of Brigos Glen as Last Day, the earth went dark. Terrible black clouds covered the protected valley. For a while, generators and batteries provided light. But finally, all was dark.
The elders sent out teams to venture out of the valley to find help. Some are never heard from again.
Then one day, a voice is heard, asking if they would like some help. And so begins the story of The Company bringing power to the village, establishing The Plan. A smaller company came in to train the villagers on the management of the power and The Plan. Another company communicates with the village leaders after The Plan and the power is set up.
Some seventy years later, six people from the village are summoned to meet with The Company. Much of the story is what happens as they leave the village and meet with the leader of The Company.

I knew this was a parable so, as I read it, I tried to understand the idea communicated. I have to admit, I totally missed it. (I am sure that says more about me than the author.) Much was made of the three power companies that had developed over the years in Brigos Glen. One adhered strictly to The Plan. If it wasn't written in The Plan, it wasn't done. If people wanted power, they had to come and ask for it. Another power company believed in expanding on the plan, reaching new people, doing new things, keeping up with the times. The third power company was all about developing a new source of power, finding a new way of life not depending upon others. They didn't even bother to read The Plan, something so old and certainly outdated.
Much was made of these three approaches to The Plan and I immediately thought of how we approach the Bible and how we “do church.” I was surprised at the end of the book, where Chuck explains the motivation, that the aim of the parable is to explain the Trinity. The Trinity is represented by the three companies that brought power to Brigos Glen. Much less is written about them in the parable than the ones I mistook as the focus of the parable.
Nonetheless, there is much to think about and discuss in this story. It would make a good summer read for a book or discipleship group.
I was surprised to read at the end of the book that many of the names had symbolic meaning. Looking at that section before you read the book might help understand the parable, but then again, might distract from it.

Chuck Graham is the Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa (Christ is Lord of All), an international ministry devoted to sharing God's encouragement with the world. Find more about this ministry at Chuck practiced law for thirty one years and left his practice in 2010 to devote more time to Ciloa and writing. He continues to work with churches and ministries in areas of encouragement, mediation, reconciliation and frequently speaks on such topics. He and his wife live in Atlanta, Georgia and have three grown children.

Winepress Publishing, 264 pages.

Please visit your local Christian bookstore to buy this book.

I received a complimentary digital edition of this book for the purpose of this review.

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