A CROSS IN TIME: a fine example of a Christian thriller

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Book reviews

I believe in the power of fiction. I’ve always seen it as a great way to reflect aspects of reality.

I believe in the Truth. Having grown up in a loving, caring family, the perfect environment for a healthy spiritual formation, I came to know and love the Truth as testified by Christ. I can’t say that I had one of those strict religious experiences which turns “fine Christian boys”  into world-famous rock stars, but I was always aware of and fascinated by the existence of the great spiritual reform that Christianity essentially represents. Baptized a Catholic, schooled in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, having befriended fine human beings from all spiritual convictions, from Baptists to Atheists, I became aware that all religious denominations have something that anyone can deem respectable.

Now, how does my belief in the power of fiction go along with my fascination with the Truth? Quite well, I must say, and when I find a work of fiction that manages to challenge what I know about the Truth and fortify my faith, I’m thrilled.

Such was the case with a novel called A CROSS IN TIME, written by Richard W. Black. Through the courtesy of the publisher, I had the opportunity to receive a copy of the book for review purposes. And I’m blessed beyond belief to have had this opportunity. This is one of those sprawling epics which have a bit of everything: fast-paced gritty action, a dash of romance, a healthy dose of historical research, and of course, the Truth.

In fact, the question of Pontius Pilate, “What is the Truth?” stands at the core of this big, bold, beautifully written brick of a book, which explores one of the most common themes in science fiction, time travel, as I’ve never seen it before.

Meet Bruce DeLanto and Joel Bernstein. Both young, both smart, both men of science, used to the undeniability of cold hard facts. And both having their fair share of reasons to doubt Divinity. Bruce and Joel have the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel back in time, with the help of Joel’s time machine, blend into The Holy Land aided by the historical expertise of Bruce, and debunk the myth of Jesus Christ and his raising from the dead. Quite a goal, huh? Well, what if what they find confirms and yet strongly challenges what they expect? This is the question that A CROSS IN TIME aims to answer, as Bruce and Joel travel through the age of Jesus under the guise of a Roman official and a Jewish doctor, witnessing the harshness of the world of so long ago, which paradoxically seems to mirror that of our times: a world so desperate for power that people claim lives and lose lives for the sake of grasping it. They witness political intrigue and religious corruption at its most unsightly, and they come face to face with what Jesus Himself stands for and what His words and actions mean to the establishment of the time. Key players in the Passion narrative such as Pilate, Caiaphas and Judas are fleshed out in a manner that will inspire and entertain. I have to say that this book provided me with the most detailed look  at what the trial, death and resurrection of Christ means to the world. Science or faith? What prevails? What if the truth one knows and the truth one   needs are different? What does it take to find the truth? What is power? What is history? All these questions and more will fascinate readers, Christian or otherwise, who like thrillers that make them think. I wholeheartedly thank Mr.  Black for coming up with this awesome book, and Mr. Chris Jackson from ASJ Publishing for sending it all the way from the land of Oz! Superb book! 10  outta 5!

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