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Posted November 19, 2014
Readable, realistic, engaging, and highly recommended. Using the Gospels as the launching point, Bob Rice places the reader among the disciples as they follow Jesus during his earthly ministry. If you are a Christian this outstanding book will strengthen and deepen your faith. And if you are a seeker curious to learn more about the life, times, and meaning of Jesus, Rice will engage and challenge you in a powerful way. And for everyone, Rice tells a great story that will hold your attention, touch you, and, perhaps, even inspire you.
In "Between the Savior and the Sea", Bob Rice does a wonderful job of telling the Gospel story in a way that the people, the life, the times, and the miraculous events of that took place 2000 years ago come alive. By following Peter as he follows, falls away from, and returns to Jesus, Rice faithfully paints a realistic portrayal of what it must have been like to be present for and to participate in "The Greatest Story Ever Told. Even while focusing on Peter, Rice brings us face-to-face with the other Apostles and disciples, and those that didn't accept his message and ultimately killed him--and Rice does so in such a way that we get to know them as people that really lived, not just as characters in a Bible story. Through the eyes of Peter we clearly see both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus--and the challenges that reality presented to Peter and the others. Rice brings us along as Peter and the others struggle with their faith and, at times, make bad choices--as we all do. As in the Gospel story, in the end "Jesus is alive" and "Love wins." Bob Rice brings that reality alive in "Between the Savior and the Sea." Read it for yourself and give it as a gift to others.
Posted March 5, 2014
Posted January 13, 2012
The new testament adventure story, simplified. A disappointment so far as I got before giving up on it. Childish characterizations, poor grammar, and not even really about Peter.
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Posted October 12, 2011
In the email submitting this book for review, the author mentioned that my blog hadn't reviewed any Christian Fiction at that time and made the following point:
My hope is that the book stands on its own no matter what faith background you have. A good story is a good story.
I think this is called an act of faith.
In light of this, it seems fair that I give a disclaimer before my review. Although raised in an extremely religious environment, as an adult I developed issues with all organized religion. If forced to claim membership in any religious organization, it would be the pseudo-religious Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Although I'm the first to concede that religions are a positive force in providing people with a moral and ethical framework in which to live their lives, there are other ways to do that. In my observation, religion also has a downside that frequently includes war and hatemongering. However, I also believe everyone has the right to practice their religious beliefs, as long as doing so doesn't negatively impact anyone else. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for those who follow their beliefs, insofar as they are positive.
I'll start with the obvious. If I was able to separate this story from its origins, the genre would be something different, maybe supernatural or paranormal. But making that separation isn't realistic for me. I doubt it is for many people. The tale, at a high level, is set in stone. Most people will know much of the story, including how it ends. (Jesus dies, for those who don't know.)
However, Rice's purpose appears to be two-fold. First, telling the story from a new perspective, that of Peter. Looking at anything from a different point of view can provide new insights. Second, to make the story more accessible without oversimplifying like some of the bible storybooks for children tend to do. I thought he succeeded with both of these. The language is modernized, making it much easier to read. I did laugh when one character told another that "I've got your back," but mostly the language was easy to read, modern, without being slang filled. By arranging the story chronologically, it is much easier to follow.
I'm sure there are spots some biblical scholars would nitpick. I don't know where those would be, but I have faith that they are there. It would depend on the scholar. Rice freely admits in the afterword that in a few instances he played fast and loose with chronology. He sometimes fills in gaps for a more complete story and in many cases different biblical accounts of the same incident are contradictory. Also, biblical scholars and different Christian denominations can't agree on all the specifics. However, the big picture, I think Rice got. For believers or the curious who find reading the bible hard going, "Beneath the Savior and the Sea" is an excellent compromise. For those who have read "The Bible," the new viewpoint and easier reading might be something you'd be interested in reading. For non-believers, decide for yourself. After all, some say this is [[ASIN:B0002BO05S "The Greatest Story Ever Told"]]. For those who haven't read it yet, sorry about the spoiler.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Posted June 15, 2011
No text was provided for this review.