Character Counts

I’m fascinated when a poll turns up distinct differences between groups of people A UPI-Zogby poll asked participants to rank their top requirements in a candidate.

The interesting difference is that Republicans (63.2%) said that “values, morals and character” were the most important consideration in choosing a candidate. The Democrats? 42.3% said “opposition to the war in Iraq.” Values and morals were fifth on the list at 24%.

No wonder I vote Republican. I’m much likelier to support a person of good moral character. If he can artculate a response why he’s against the war in Iraq and maintain his values, I may disagree with him but still vote for him. This poll tells me that as long as the candidate is against the war, it doesn’t matter how crooked they are, they will still win the Democrat vote.

Review: House

Medium ImageSort of like combining Stephen King and C.S. Lewis.

House: The Only Way Out is In” (WestBow Press) is a very suspenseful and intense novel by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. In fact, it’s so intense, I cannot in good conscience recommend this to kids or to the squeamish.

The entire first half of the book is setup and character building, and very well done. You can identify and sympathaze with a part of each character or an entire character, depending on you. Impatience, materialistic, vulgar, selfish, character flaws are spread amply around to everyone.

The second half of the book starts combining this horror novel with Christianity, and it becomes obvious that this is no ordinary house the characters are trapped in. Their fears, their ambitions, their flaws are amplified, and try as they might to overcome their own desires, they are sucked deeper and deeper into the house and it’s basement. Only when they realize they cannot survive on their own do they realize they need help; and even when help arrives and tries to lead them to safety, some resist. Not all survive.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will probably read it a second time, but I didn’t recommend it to my wife. Beware and enjoy.

Review: Presumed Guilty

Medium ImageSex. Mystery. Intrigue. When fiction includes topic like sex, you just know it’s going to be good. Presumed Guilty by author James Scott Bell and published by Zondervan tracks the fall of a minister, Ron Hamilton, as his good works switch from glorifying God to glorifying himself. His own self of self-esteem and his own pride keep him from running from sexual temptation, and the resulting fallout from his sin. It’s not quite that simple, though – the girl turns up dead and the minister is arrested. The novel is an exploration in character wrapped in a suspenseful thriller. How does Ron confess his sin and handle his fall from a position of authority? How does his relationship with his wife, Dallas, change? Can she forgive, or does she dump him? His overachieving daughter, his war-shocked rebellious son, and a host of other characters all are impacted from this one beginning sin.

I thought the characters were all believeable, the plot believeable, and the writing excellent. If I had to have one complaint, though, is that by the end of the book it turns out nearly all of the characters are bad people one way or another or had a bad past. With the possible exception of his daughter, maybe. I really wanted to identify better with one of the characters but found it hard to empathize. Surely not *everyone* makes choices this bad consistently, do they?

Good Christian fiction dealing with sexual temptation and pride, it’s sometimes predicatble but a very enjoyable read. Recommended strongly.