Monday, July 22, 2013

The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan

In this end times novel, an ancient scroll is found in a secret room under the New York Bowery Mission. Tom, executive director of the mission, assembles a group of historians and scientists to decode the mysterious writing. When the message is revealed, the team heads to Jerusalem to find the hidden but very real third temple.

I found the novel a combination of interesting and informative history and contemporary Middle East politics. The Author's Note at the end indicates much of the novel is based on documented history and relatively current events. You may want to read the Author's Note first so you have an idea of the historical basis as you read the novel.

Those who enjoy reading speculative end times novels will enjoy this one. The events set up the possibility of the Lord's near return. I did find the premise of the third temple to be a little far fetched and a bit too unrealistic for me. I do prefer a book with intense action and I found in this novel the action was often prolonged - the writing could have been tighter. I found the dialog, addressing an individual by name every time, was tiresome.

I did take away from this novel a renewed sense of the tension in the Middle East, especially over the control of the Temple Mount, and the history behind it.

Terry Brennan had an extensive career in journalism, winning several awards. He served eleven years as the vice president of operations for the Bowery Mission in New York City and is currently chief administrative officer for Care for the Homeless.

Kregel Publications, 352 pages.
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