Usually I balk at the favorite question. What's your favorite song, color, book? Usually my answer is, it depends on my mood. But only one day after finishing it, I'm ready to declare James Rubart's Soul's Gate my favorite novel of all time.
In deciding if I was sure to make this bold declaration, I started mentally scrolling through some of my past favorite novels. Then of my favorites, I narrowed that list down to the truly life-changing ones that I bought multiple copies of and forced my friends and relatives to read: The Passion of Mary-Margaret, Arena, Embrace Me, Rooms, A Stray Drop of Blood, and Havah. Every one of these books was beautifully written and spiritually powerful. I highly recommend all of them. But as I considered Soul's Gate, I realized that it combined the best elements of each of these.
Like The Passion of Mary-Margaret, it illustrated an intimate relationship with God and characters willing to give everything for Christ. Like Arena, it offered an insightful glimpse into the spiritual realm and spiritual warfare. Like Embrace Me it cut through all the b.s. of religion and pierced straight to the true heart of Christianity. Like Rooms, it demonstrated the beauty of inner healing. Like A Stray Drop of Blood, it portrayed the amazing, overwhelming power available in the blood of Christ. And like Havah, it spoke to me right where I was at that moment and transformed my life. Oh sure, there are novels I love because they're beautiful or funny or touching, but these are the ones that have affected me the most. And I can't ignore books like the old Frank Peritti novels or The Shack that impacted me as well, but I feel like Soul's Gate went to a new place for a new time.
As I mentioned, this book was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. While I loved Rooms, it mostly dealt with issues I'd already tackled and revelations I'd already received. Book of Days had more impact on me, but this novel went far beyond. I so needed this infusion of faith and power in my life right now. This reminder that the spirit world is more real than the illusory one all around me that presses on my senses day in and day out. And I needed to have my fighting spirit revived. Another wonderful aspect of this book, which I've never found in a novel before, was the direct link between quantum physics, faith, and the spiritual realm. I'm a closet physics geek, so this delighted me to no end.
My husband is halfway through the book as I'm writing this, and I sent a gift copy to my mom. No doubt, I'll soon be buying lots of extra copies and wrangling all my loved ones into reading it. I not only highly recommend this book, I'd say it's a must read for every Christian. I'm sure I will read this one again and again. No matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, I think you'll find something in this book to minister to you. And even for non-Christians, I can't help but think you'd enjoy this peek at what Christianity was truly meant to be.
The novel challenges you to believe what the Bible really says and to tap into the supernatural power available in the Holy Spirit. The author says in the back that his main purpose for the book was to demonstrate freedom in Christ, but there was no way to get there without looking at spiritual warfare as well. From healing, to prophecy and vision, to being transported in the spirit and invisibilty cloaks, this book takes a look at a sort of Christianity few truly believe in. A sort of Christianity that I remember longing for once upon a time with childlike faith. For the sake of the story, it also examines the possibility of going into the souls of others to fight for their freedom. While the author admits that this is probably not precisely true, it does seem to be in many ways a very accurate portrayal of a spiritual reality.
I can't finish this review without mentioning that James Rubart also ranks among my favorite people that I've ever met. It would be hard to imagine anyone else writing this amazing book. He is one of the truest believers and most inspiring people I've ever had the pleasure of spending time with. Everything about him radiates the love of Christ. And may I add, I'm so excited that he has now quit his day job to write for us all full time :)
I sincerely hope and pray this book will be a huge hit and a best-seller! Soul's Gate is the first in a series, and I'll be sure pre-order the sequels just as soon as possible.
I received the book Soul's Gate by James Rubart to review. To be brutally honest I would have never checked this out from the library or likely even glanced at it on a shelf. It leans towards a sci-fi theme and I am NOT into that at all. That being said, I was blown away by this book. As in, literally could not sleep because I had to finish it and then when I did finish it_.well then I could not sleep because I was wondering if any of it could be real. This book is fiction but delves deep into the world of spiritual warfare. This book of fiction makes references to Bible verses that I have read hundreds of times. The conclusions drawn from these verses blew me away. They seemed so accurate. I actually looked them up several times to make sure they were quoted correctly and they were. Anyways, this book leaves me with many questions that only a deeper relationship with God can answer. Did I like the book? Yes! I loved it! It draws you in from the first word and leaves you wanting so much more. It is a series and more books are coming soon!
I was not able to personally review this book. However, a friend, Willie, was willing to share her thoughts on Mr. Rubart's book, Soul's Gate.
Sensitively written and therapeutic in the journey, this book opens your mind to the depths of the soul's journey within your past and then for the Spiritual journey within. You cannot begin one without the other. We cannot heal others without healing one's self and we can only go to God for that and listen to that still small voice.
Rubart does a good job blending the fantasy of entering another person's soul for healing purposes with characters that each have a personal story that requires Truth to replace the enemies lies. The plot might be too predictable, but it a quick read that stirs up emotions, opens us up to the reality of another dimension of reality, and shows the heart of our struggle to protect ourselves from emotional pain, which causes real Spiritual bondage and greater pain and loss.
The author does not appear to realize the full extent of how real the astral plane is and how God has set limits for us as followers of Christ, because it is where the enemy dwells. God can move us into any plane He wants, but it's God's choice, not our own. We must follow wherever He leads and humble ourselves before Him.
This book was provided free by Amy Lathrop and Christen Krumm of the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review (though this one was done by a friend on my behalf.) No monetary compensations was received.
Soul's Gate by James L. Rubart is about four people who can enter people's souls to battle the spiritual evils that are within them and help them find healing from past wounds. Some spirits, who would like to keep healing from happening, are watching and acting to keep the four out and will do their best to sway them away from their calling. Not only will each of the four battle in others' souls, but will have to face their own battles and will need each other to defeat the enemy.
The story is gripping, fast-paced, entertaining, and thought provoking. Thinking about what happens in the spiritual realms and how angels and demons work is not something thought about by most, including myself. This story, although fiction, does make one wonder about what is truly going on in the spiritual realms and what battles are being fought, if any at all in this present time. I highly enjoyed reading this book and will recommend it to others.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Not since Rooms has a Rubart book captivated me the way this one did. From the beginning I began to relate with the characters, especially Dana. She is carrying a lot of baggage from her past and has put up strong walls in an effort to protect herself. I also related well with Brandon, Christian musician going through the motions. I loved Reece as the mentor. His wisdom and wit add so much to the story.
As Jim mentioned in the interview this is a story of freedom and healing, especially of broken hearts. For me, this story reminded me of the power of God and the reality of the spiritual world. Not that I believe that some of the things that happen in the story can happen (be sure to read Jim's comments at the end of the story to know what I mean). However, I think as Christians in America our intellect limits what God can and wants to do in the lives of His people. This story also reminded me of the power of prayer.
I think one of the things that excited me about this book was the premise from Acts 8. I remember a pastor I had growing up saying he believed that God would do that again for His people.
I would recommend this story for those who enjoy Frank Peretti books, especially the "Darkness" books. Also if you enjoy a creative story about freedom that will stretch the imagination this is a great choice. I'm looking forward to what is coming next in this series.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read and review this book, I was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.