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The Damascus Road*
Fictionalized Life of St. Paul and Times of the Early Christian Church
While this book is fiction, it reads true to both history and human nature. The book looks not only at the life of St. Paul but gives insight into the early days of Christianity. Since Christianity is so well entrenched in modern Western society, it is easy to forget that it was at first a movement within Judaism that had very rocky beginnings before it became established. This book looks at what perhaps some of those founders believed, wrestled with, and did. This book does not shy away from showing the growing pains of Christianity.
The book alternates between being told from Paul’s and Luke’s perspectives. The author did a good job making these two narrative voices distinct, and they even didn’t always agree about the same incident. I like how the book started right off with a scene that not only shows the devastation of the fire in Rome but shows how it is used as a political weapon against the Christians. This is the perfect beginning for this book as this is a recurring theme. The book wanders all over this part of the ancient world, and we meet other characters with whom we are familiar with from the Bible.
Whether you are a Christian or not, if you are interested in history, you might enjoy this fictionalized account about St. Paul’s life and the times of the early Christian church.