Chase Falson has lost everything he has ever believed in; his faith, the Bible, his church, and his God. Being the pastor to a mega church in the heart of New England that he started is just not doing it for him, and he has lost all the hope he had in his beliefs as an evangelical Christian. When he falls apart during a sermon, the elders immediately ask him to take an extended leave of absence, while they decide what to do. Disillusioned, Chase leaves the States behind to visit his uncle, a Franciscan friar in Italy. Expecting the trip to simply be some time away and a chance to clear his head of whatever is bothering him, Chase embarks on a journey that will forever change his life.
His uncle introduces him to Francis of Assisi, a man dead for over eight hundred years. Francis's revolutionary way of following Jesus changed the history of the church forever, and pulled Christianity out of the Dark Ages. After spending weeks in Italy learning about Francis and the things he did to revolutionize the church, Chase begins to pose the question, "what if"? What if we all followed Jesus exactly the way He wants us to - not the way we have commercialized it today? Will Chase find the answers he is looking for? Is there really more to the Christian life than going to church every Sunday?
While I am not of the Catholic persuasion, this book made me realize anew something I have wondered for many years. As a Baptist, I have always been of the mindset that "I've got it right." Everyone else, in my mind, is just short of the mark, and simply doesn't have it together. But Cron's novel made me realize that no matter the denomination of church, if you believe in saving grace and follow Jesus then that's all you need. The details just don't matter. What matters is a heart for God, for others, and following His commands. A splendid novel that will make you realize what is truly important.
This book was provided by Zondervan for free in exchange for an honest review.