Book Review: The Gift
It has proven to be a daunting task to write a book review for the second book in a series. Without revealing much of the plot, I would like to hit the highlights of The Gift, the second installment in the Chiveisian Trilogy, authored by Bryan Litfin, professor of Theology at Moody Bible Institute and author of Getting To Know The Church Fathers. Clearly Litfin’s aptitude for writing has developed in many ways since the first book, yet still suffers from some of his same plaguing faults. The story is rich with action, adventure, and strong theological undertones to boot. Additionally, the characters seem to be well thought out and almost familiar, as the thick plot unfolds one saga after the next. My largest complaint against Litfin’s work is that sometimes he overplays the drama; as soon as one conflict seems to be resolved, it crescendos again.
Throughout the first two books the main characters discover and translate a Bible they find in an abandoned church. The New Testament, however, is completely water-logged causing it to be illegible. As they study the Scriptures they see it culminating and begin to grow desperate to discover to what these trajectories are pointing. They are perplexed by the prophecies concerning a Coming King who would reign for all of eternity, and a Suffering Servant who would take away the iniquity all people. What affected me most from this series was the characters' great appreciation for the treasure that is God’s word (as it has been suppressed in Chiveis for the last two-hundred years).
If you enjoy fiction, I would strongly encourage you to read the Chiveis Trilogy with this caveat, Litfin is a professor of Theology who has committed himself to the study of church history, therefore his fictional writing flair is still evolving; be patient.