Wars of the Realm, vol. 2
(Multnomah, 2015), pb., 300 pp.
I have previously reviewed a couple of Chuck Black’s book which
we really enjoyed. However, this one was not as good as the previous ones we
read. This new series seeks to deal with spiritual warfare which can be quite
tricky. For full disclosure, we did not finish the book, so perhaps it got
The book opens with a firefight between angels
and demons in which they use machine guns which can kill demons or angels. This
scene lost me. I appreciate wanting to help young readers grasp the reality of spiritual
warfare, but I don’t think presenting it in this manner is the way to do it.
And, I don’t think angels can be killed.
Then, theologically the book needs some
more fine-tuning. Black goes to great lengths to clarify the difference between
biblical truth and imaginative filling in of the story. In fact at the
beginning of the book he states, “reference statements that are directly
correlated to biblical truths are set in bold
text” (ix). However, one of the first statements in bold in the book seeks
to describe the Trinity by stating, “One God, yet choosing to reveal himself in
three ways- Elohim HaAv, God the Father; Ben Elohim, the Son of God; and Ruach
Elohim, the Spirit of God” (6). I am not sure of the value of the
transliterated Hebrew, but the problem is that the statement “One God, yet
choosing to reveal himself in three ways” fits in one of the categories
declared to be heresy by the early Church. It sounds like the heresy of modalism. God has not merely chosen to “reveal” Himself in three
ways, but He is “one God eternally existing in three equal Persons.” (You can
search that last phrase in quotes to see that this is common language used to
express the truth of the Trinity.) Let me be clear: I have no reason to doubt
the orthodoxy of Chuck Black. From what else I have seen from him, I believe
this was unfortunate wording on his part. Describing the Trinity in a young
adult work of fiction would be challenging. However, this does point to the
need for more theological editing or for a different choice in topics. If you
wade into such waters, you must do it well.
So, I cannot recommend this book. We
enjoyed Chuck Black’s books where he summarized the overarching story of
Scripture in terms of knights fighting evil, and I hope he continues to produce
good work like those books.
Labels: chuck black, Trinity