This is a very powerful novel. When I finished it, I had to take a deep breath and remind myself it was only a novel and not a prophetic vision of the future. Then I wondered. I wondered if the world Johnson created might not be the one we are journeying toward.
What if our attractive idea of escaping via a rapture is all wrong? What if the influence of believers and the number of believers themselves fade away? What if there is only one friend of God left? What if God asks him to warn the sin sick city that judgment will come in six days?
Johnson has captured well a potential future. There has been a great falling away. Christianity has declined to the point of being nonexistent. In its place is a life of indulgence and a religion of self potential and fulfillment. The sinful nature of man is expressed with abandon.
Johnson includes many thought provoking issues in this novel. Eschatology is a big one. Others include original sin, why and when God performs miracles, how the Old and New Testaments portray God, why God delays judgment, and many more.
I highly recommend this novel. Oh, there might be a few issues theologically picky readers my raise an eyebrow at. I am always a bit leery when Jesus appears in human form and speaks, for example. But I feel that was done well. The strength of this novel is the portrayal of a very possible future. Johnson extrapolates current cultural trends to a world where God is unknown. It is not pretty. Yet the novel begs believers to think about our own responsibility as witnesses to the world today.
Food for thought: Jesus says to His last friend, “Do what you can. That's all I will ever ask of you.” (52)
My rating: 5/5 stars.
The Last Friend of God is Paul Johnson's first novel. He lives in Michigan with his two children, a dog who loves him maybe too much, and a cat who seems willing to tolerate him. A constant reader from childhood, it is Paul's goal to write the kind of stories he'd like to read. You can follow him on Twitter at @GPaulJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheLastFriendofGod.
Covenant Books, 315 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.