The Ambition by Lee Strobel
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor. ~Aldous Huxley
I received an iPad for Christmas from my kids. I must say that it is a nice device, nice despite me not being a fan of the way Apple does business. The whole, sorry you are too stupid to have a device with a replaceable battery, rubs me the wrong way. One of the first apps I downloaded was the Kindle reader so I could take advantage of the myriad of free books on line and, when I travel, I could have a number of books at my fingertips instead of lugging around a couple of books in my luggage.
Perusing the Amazon site, I noticed that Lee Strobel had written a work of fiction and that I could get it for a less than five dollars before the end of the year. Lee used to be a teaching pastor at my church before taking another pastorship elsewhere in the country. I always enjoyed his teaching so I purchased this his first novel despite it being a Christian based book. And his ‘Case for….’ books were very good.
I used to read a lot of Christian fiction but stopped because the ends were just too predictable. The story line could be really catchy, sometimes downright terrifying but, no matter what happened, in the end I knew the side of God would win out. This is a sensible ending because the books are God based. Many Christian books tend to be resolved by deus ex machina, God out of the machine, a plot device where a problem is solved by the unexpected intervention of what can only be categorized as God’s intervention to solve a problem. Typically, I am not attracted by books that are sensible or predictable. I like to be surprised, I like a twist at the end of a novel.
The story is placed in Chicago which is nice for a Chicagoan like me because I recognize many of the landmarks. It follows a newspaper reporter as he explores the world of politics and investigates a church where there ‘has to be something uncouth going on’. I can see parallels to Lee’s life based on his sermons when he used to teach at Willow. The Chicago politics were typically corrupt. While I enjoyed reading about his characters, the plot and ending were too predictable for my liking.