How is it possible that I have not discovered this amazing author long before now? My favorite type of Christian fiction is not the sweet stories of Christians living out their faith, although those are wonderful; rather my favorite type of Christian fiction is the type whose stories open my heart and mind to the truth of God’s Word in a way that I have not seen it before. Ted Dekker and Francine Rivers, two very different types of writers, but both quite skillful at teaching God’s truth, are among the best, and now I know James Rubart to be that type of writer as well.
In The Man He Never Was Rubart addresses what it means to truly be crucified with Christ, the essence of God’s love, and what it means for perfect love to cast out all fear. He does this by allowing us to join Toren Daniels through an abusive childhood into an out-of-control adulthood. As readers we get to watch Toren’s struggle to gain control, to do the right things, and to win back the family he drove away. Stalked by someone from his middle and high school years, aided by a group of mysterious strangers, Toren is torn between darkness and light, between desires for peace and for an outlet for his anger, between love and hate. Warren Wiersbe wrote that Satan’s philosophy is glory without suffering, and God’s philosophy is suffering transformed into glory. Toren was certainly torn between choosing the philosophy that would determine which mountain he would end up climbing in his effort to be the man he wanted to be.
Not long into The Man He Never Was I was already wanting to share this book with many of my friends and family. It is one of those books that I will want to give a permanent spot in my home library, frequently revisiting the pages I’ve highlighted, of which there are many. It will be necessary to delete the copy that NetGalley and Thomas Nelson kindly provided in exchange for an honest review, but it will be worth purchasing a copy to transfer my highlighting to. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review. It was fueled with the hope that others will be moved to read this moving and enlightening book.