The Betrayal, Leaders of Reformation Series #1
This work of historical fiction by Douglas Bond is a phenomenal read! It is the first I have read by the author, and it did not disappoint. Eager to learn more of the life of the great reformer John Calvin and having difficulty grasping much of the non-fiction I'd been reading (due to first trimester fatigue ;), I decided to turn my attention to a bit of fiction which requires less of my mental faculties. Tim Challies of Discerning Reader had reviewed this book favorably, and P&R had significantly discounted a few copies, so I ordered one for my personal library. I am so glad that I did! Bond holds the attention of his reader well with the suspense sprinkled throughout the text. Reading this work has helped me better grasp the climate of the time of the Reformation throughout Europe, the persecution that was so prevalent, and the enduring faith of the saints that have gone before me. I was reminded afresh that there are many who are currently enduring persecution just as the men and women of this time period, and I was stirred afresh to pray for my brothers and sisters. The book also stirred me afresh to memorize and mediate on Scripture that I might always be prepared to give an account for the hope that is in me (1 Pt. 3:15), just as Calvin did.I have a lot of respect for Calvin and the way that God has used him to shape our modern-church. Though he was not a perfect man, just as we are not perfect, there is much to learn from his life."Christ came to save sinners...And only those who believe that they are great sinners will be saved...You...are a great sinner. Yet is Christ a far greater Savior. Flee to him alone" (Douglas Bond, The Betrayal, pg. 371).
August 14, 2010
Very well written, simply an excellent book. I feel like I know John Calvin since reading "The Betrayal", and have learned so much by the way Douglas Bond blended some of John Calvin's writings into the actual storyline. It fueled my interest in learning more about this great and faithful Reformer, and in reading his writings. I could not put it down once I began reading it.
March 29, 2010
I bought and read this book because I simply wanted to know more about John Calvin and the Reformation in France. This was certainly accomplished--far more than I had anticipated. Calvin became a beloved Christian to me, even as his weaknesses were included throughout the book. I was left with deep gratitude for the way he constantly offered his unusual gift as a scholar to God, and for his deep piety until his death. The added plot of Jean-Louis not only served as a vehicle for clearly portraying events of the period and explaining Reformation figures who had been simply names to me, but also highlighting the deeply spiritual John Calvin. There were difficulties: the frequent burnings of true believers are hard to take, and I had to adjust to the writing style, which was entirely appropriate to this book. A worthwhile read.
February 15, 2010