We’ve come Shofar from the truth

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Photo by Alyssa Kift

Story by Lois LeFors, news editor

Francine River’s “And the Shofar Blew” is a touching and enlightening story that emphasizes that even the most promising and genuine individuals can fall away if they allow their hearts to venture away from humility and God’s will.

The shofar, as used in the title, is a ram’s horn that was sounded in the Old Testament when God was calling his people to action. The blasting of the shofar was a war cry and wake up call that signified a fight to come. In this novel, Rivers allows us to peer into the lives of characters mid-war and teaches us that the bloodiest battles are not waged amongst flesh and blood, but rather, inside our very souls.

The story begins when young, aspiring pastor Paul Hudson receives a call to move across the country to help rekindle the flame in a hopelessly extinguishing congregation in California called Centerville Christian Church. He uproots his young wife and son, Eunice and Timothy, and steps up to the plate to accept full responsibility.

In the beginning, Paul vehemently seeks God and his will in every step, but as he is influenced by his corrupt and abusive father and the voices of the world, his heart soon becomes hardened. After only a short period of time, Paul becomes power hungry and convinced that the only way he can expand the church is to throw out the truth of the gospel and replace it with a watered-down prosperity message. Over a span of 12 years, Paul neglects and abuses his family, pushes away all voices of reason and finds himself at the center of a very successful, but hopelessly corrupted megachurch.

This novel is a prophetic statement of the church in America today. As many continue to become corrupted by power and money whilst claiming to be in God’s will, we must always remember that the true gospel is not founded on material possessions and the things of this world.”

— Lois LeFors

Paul’s wife, Eunice, along with the cast-away elders of the original congregation, prays faithfully and unceasingly for Paul and his widening path to destruction. However, after Paul consistently turns his back on what he knows to be the truth and stifles his inner convictions with the empty praises of the world, he begins to find himself deeper and deeper inside a pit of his own making.

As those around Paul begin to lose hope for his redemption, they remember and cling desperately to the One whose love for Paul runs deeper and wider than any of theirs ever could. As the war within Paul continues to wage, the shofar will blow, loud and clear, and he will have to choose which side he is on, once and for all.

This novel is a prophetic statement of the church in America today. As many continue to become corrupted by power and money whilst claiming to be in God’s will, we must always remember that the true gospel is not founded on material possessions and the things of this world. It is rather founded on loving the Lord above all else, seeking his will for our lives and striving in all we do to be like Jesus.