Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards--audio

A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards, is a book primarily dealing with the author's perceived proper response to attacks on your person or on your ministry. The audio version, which was supplied me from ChristianAudio for review, was read by Paul Michael, who does an excellent job narrating.

The book deals with the lives of three kings, Saul, David, and Absalom, and how they dealt with conflict in their lives. Edwards takes the framework of the biblical narrative and fills in the gaps with great imagination. Any time I encounter extra-biblical imaginative fiction, I cringe. The scene early in the book where David is playing his harp and kills the bear with his slingshot doesn't seem to fit the biblical description of David delivering a lamb out of the mouth of the bear. It just seems an inherent trap in biblical fiction to legendize elements of the story.

Where this book really fails is its attempt to flip-flop between fiction and exhortation. For example, chapters 1-3 are colorful fiction about David and his rise to Saul's court, but then chapters 4 and beyond try to take the spear-throwing episode and exhort the reader to apply the vague truth of spear-throwing. It's quite a stretch and really unclear. Chapter 12 starts the fiction-exhortation cycle again... It's a disaster. Edwards would have been better off to focus on allegorical fiction and allow the reader to draw his own conclusions. The back-and-forth throughout the book is distracting and really breaks the flow of the book.

Overall, I would NOT recommend this book to anyone.

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