In deciding if I was sure to make this bold declaration, I started mentally scrolling through some of my past favorite novels. Then of my favorites, I narrowed that list down to the truly life-changing ones that I bought multiple copies of and forced my friends and relatives to read: The Passion of Mary-Margaret, Arena, Embrace Me, Rooms, A Stray Drop of Blood, and Havah. Every one of these books was beautifully written and spiritually powerful. I highly recommend all of them. But as I considered Soul's Gate, I realized that it combined the best elements of each of these.
Like The Passion of Mary-Margaret, it illustrated an intimate relationship with God and characters willing to give everything for Christ. Like Arena, it offered an insightful glimpse into the spiritual realm and spiritual warfare. Like Embrace Me it cut through all the b.s. of religion and pierced straight to the true heart of Christianity. Like Rooms, it demonstrated the beauty of inner healing. Like A Stray Drop of Blood, it portrayed the amazing, overwhelming power available in the blood of Christ. And like Havah, it spoke to me right where I was at that moment and transformed my life. Oh sure, there are novels I love because they're beautiful or funny or touching, but these are the ones that have affecte me the most. And I can't ignore books like the old Frank Peritti novels or The Shack that impacted me as well, but I feel like Soul's Gate went to a new place for a new time.
As I mentioned, this book was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. While I loved Rooms, it mostly dealt with issues I'd already tackled and revelations I'd already received. Book of Days had more impact on me, but this novel went far beyond. I so needed this infusion of faith and power in my life right now. This reminder that the spirit world is more real than the illusory one all around me that presses on my senses day in and day out. And I needed to have my fighting spirit revived. Another wonderful aspect of this book, which I've never found in a novel before, was the direct link between quantum physics, faith, and the spiritual realm. I'm a closet physics geek, so this delighted me to no end.
My husband is halfway through the book as I'm writing this, and I sent a gift copy to my mom. No doubt, I'll soon be buying lots of extra copies and wrangling all my loved ones into reading it. I not only highly recommend this book, I'd say it's a must read for every Christian. I'm sure I will read this one again and again. No matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, I think you'll find something in this book to minister to you. And even for non-Christians, I can't help but think you'd enjoy this peek at what Christianity was truly meant to be.
The novel challenges you to believe what the Bible really says and to tap into the supernatural power available in the Holy Spirit. The author says in the back that his main purpose for the book was to demonstrate freedom in Christ, but there was no way to get there without looking at spiritual warfare as well. From healing, to prophecy and vision, to being transported in the spirit and invisibilty cloaks, this book takes a look at a sort of Christianity few truly believe in. A sort of Christianity that I remember longing for once upon a time with childlike faith. For the sake of the story, it also examines the possibility of going into the souls of others to fight for their freedom. While the author admits that this is probably not precisely true, it does seem to be in many ways a very accurate portrayal of a spiritual reality.
I can't finish this review without mentioning that James Rubart also ranks among my favorite people that I've ever met. It would be hard to imagine anyone else writing this amazing book. He is one of the truest believers and most inspiring people I've ever had the pleasure of spending time with. Everything about him radiates the love of Christ. And may I add, I'm so excited that he has now quit his day job to write for us all full time :)
I sincerely hope and pray this book will be a huge hit and a best-seller! Soul's Gate is the first in a series, and I'll be sure pre-order the sequels just as soon as possible.