Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: The Quest

I'll never forget the first time I met Bob Hostetler. I was at a writing conference at Wheaton College and working on an assignment to create a back cover for a possible book I might write. In my credentials, I mentioned having published an article in the British War Cry. As I showed my blurb to the instructor, he commented that I didn't need to identify it as the "British" War Cry. I went on to inform him that there were two different versions of this Salvation Army periodical. He replied, "I know. I was the editor at one time." Yowch! Immediately, the name clicked for me and I asked if he was related to my friend, Larry Hostetler. Indeed, he was a brother.

He urged me to try to connect with him on a more personal level during the conference. Of course, this was quite difficult. Every meal found him surrounded by delegates who really deserved his attention for writing-related questions. We did snag a few moments and then wrote a few limited letters back and forth.

It was a joy to meet him and to discover his excellent blog, The Desperate Pastor. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning of how he came to write his first book. He wrote from experience. His mother passed away when he was still young and during his high school years, he spent a good deal of time ditching school to hole up and read at home. This proved the impetus for a book about a good kid who develops a reputation for going AWOL in his book, They Called Me AWOL. It was a fun read and one I would highly recommend to teens.

For Christmas, I requested his most recent novel, The Quest. Bob has spent a fair amount of time working on books of Christian apologetics with fellow apologist, Josh McDowell. Their popular young adult book, Don't Check Your Brains at the Door, has recently been re-released. For this recent novel, he worked with Josh McDowell's son, Sean McDowell. Their premise is simple: "Everyone is searching. Not everyone knows it."

In The Quest, twenty-three year old Emma Seeger finds herself thrust into an unexpected journey when her father mysteriously disappears in Israel. She must work together with her despised step-mother (who took her father away by leading him to convert to Christianity, marrying him and dragging him off to Israel to work for a Christian mission). Emma doesn't want a thing to do with Christianity, but finds herself on a spiritual journey in the midst of her quest to find her father.

With a fast-paced plot, well-drawn characters, and plenty of intellectual arguments for the faith, The Quest is an excellent book for anyone questioning the existence of God and His plan for mankind. The book argues for intelligent design and the validity of the Bible. Although aimed at young adults, the story can be appreciated by all ages. If you find yourself asking how a person could believe in the existence of God or trust the Bible for evidence of His plan, then this would be a valuable read.

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