A Review of “Prophet” by Frank Peretti
|September 24, 2012||Posted by webmaster under Christian book reviews, samples|
A Review of Prophet by Frank Peretti
[Note–Mr. Peretti did not ask us to review his book]
Frank E. Peretti, Prophet, Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1992.
New York Times best-selling Christian novelist Frank E. Peretti has done it again in this thought-provoking, jaw-dropping suspense novel about one man’s fight to uncover the truth, no matter what.
The story begins and ends with the plan of God for John Barrett, Jr., a successful television anchorman. He is reminded of a childhood encounter with God not long after his father (a pro-life advocate) is caught on tape reproving a gubernatorial candidate at a kickoff rally. When his dad later turns up dead due to an “accident,” John begins experiencing strange visions and prophetic insights. Most notably, he begins to hear the anguished cries of children and is compelled to act.
John eventually winds up investigating suspicious deaths at a local abortion clinic. In a quest to uncover what really happened, John bumps heads with the political establishment, media executives, and the abortion industry. In the process, he rediscovers his faith, reconnects with his son, Carl, and learns the importance of doing the right thing even when nobody’s watching.
Prophet easily competes with secular books of the same genre. It gives the reader a chance to see developing events from multiple vantage points: the prophet and his family, the politicians, the media, angry crowds on either side of the abortion debate, and young girls who fell victim to botched procedures. Readers are given an “inside look” into how different segments of society interact with one another to advance various agendas; and, in the process, challenges deeply held assumptions about rights and truth. Although it was written twenty years ago, it remains a classic picture of human nature at its worst and Christian character at its best.
Like many of Peretti’s novels, Prophet draws on supernatural themes—in this case dreams, visions, and prophetic utterances, which is a point of theological contention for some critics. (There is a note in the front of the book which indicates that the story is not advancing a definitive statement of any doctrine.) If anything, it raises the question of how much liberty one may take in fiction when trying to portray God’s dealings with individuals. Nevertheless, it does promote an explicitly Christian perspective on the issue of abortion, and as such has the potential to either persuade or turn off readers who strongly disagree.
Peretti has written masterfully about a highly divisive issue—but it’s worth noting that the relationships of each character to God and each other are central as well. The ending was soft and thoughtful. There were no loose ends, but there were no pat answers either. John Barrett, Jr. had come of age and matured in Christ; and all the people who mattered most were privy to that transformation.
Overall, superbly written.