Jacob, Abigail’s brother, is now a young man attempting to find his own place among the community of believers. Does it mean trading away the exhilaration and adventure of his current profession as a caravan guard?
Hired by Julia’s father to protect a wealthy merchant’s caravans on the secretive “Frankincense Trail,” Jacob also reluctantly takes on the perilous responsibility of passing letters and messages between communities of believers now dispersed across the land. He is alarmed to discover that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a courier. Can their initial mistrust be put aside to accomplish their mission?
Meet the New Testament believers. In “The Damascus Way”, Davis Bunn and Janette Oke introduce the reader to the culture and times just following the resurrection of Jesus. As the believers began to experience persecution in Jerusalem, they were forced to scatter to other places, including Samaria.
Although I’m not usually a fan of biblical fiction, I liked this book. Readers who are familiar with the New Testament of the Bible will recognize character names right from the Bible, yet the authors have been careful not to fictionalize to the point of conflicting with scripture. For example, the book contains the story of Saul, the Pharisee who persecuted Christians until his conversion.
The thing I found most moving about “The Damascus Way” was feeling as though I was there, following the caravan across the desert. I saw the woman at the well in her own environment, and Philip when he encountered an Ethiopian reading a scroll. Martha is there, cooking and serving her friends too. This book made me think about what it may have been like to see the miracles of the apostles in person. What a wonder that must have been!
Although the book is mostly the story of two young people who come of age, it’s much more than that. In fact, it’s difficult to choose who the real main characters are in the story because it’s the weaving of so many stories into one thread. I liked the book so much more than the first one in the series because it wasn’t preachy. Instead, it brings the New Testament to life in story, ultimately moving the reader to an emotional response toward the persecution of believers and the ultimate growth of the early church.
Stay tuned for a Q and A interview with Davis Bunn tomorrow.