The Falling Away
The Falling Away by T.L. Hines is a Christian fiction book I chose to review for Booksneeze.
Dylan Runs Away is an ex-army Crow Indian who is running from his past and a series of bad decisions. Quinn is chasing him because she is one of the few people who know what Dylan truly is- a Chosen. Unfortunately there are more evil forces looking for Dylan also, forces that want to use him for evil. When Quinn misses an opportunity to catch Dylan, he runs to the HIVE, a cult-like community where the evil looking for him can finally overtake him. When Quinn reaches him, it is almost too late for Dylan. He must come to terms with himself and with God's plan for him in order to overcome the evil inside him.
I've read several Christian fiction books that dabble in the supernatural- Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker's books, notably. They are somewhat disturbing to me, but I believe this one may top them all as the most disturbing.
Hines uses the allegory of a virus to describe how demonic activity infiltrates humankind. Several times those in the "Falling Away," like Quinn, say that the spiritual world around us is not like a battle with demons and angels at war but more a few demons who infect key "Chosen" people and then spread their demonic virus around. I think this is totally contrary to the Biblical description of spiritual warfare.
The Falling Away of which Quinn is a part comes from 2 Thessalonians "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition." Their fictional job in the book is to find humans "infected" with the demonic virus and perform a sort of exorcism. Again, nothing about this seems Biblical to me. I believe demons can be exorcised in the name of Christ. But exorcising a "demonic virus"?
Another very disturbing thing about this book is the fact that Quinn and others of the Falling Away have "oddities" or compulsions that are viewed as normal to help them relieve the pressure of their job of exorcising the powers of darkness. Quinn is a cutter or embedder, cutting her flesh or embedding sharp metal objects inside to relieve her inner pain. Her mentor was an obsessive compulsive germophobe who wore sterile gloves all the time. Dylan is OCD about numbers and patterns. All of these, including the cutting and embedding, are viewed as an acceptable way for these people to deal with their differences and the pain and pressure of their jobs.
My overall review: The book had a slow start and was hard to get into. The supernatural element has many Biblical flaws to be published by a Christian publishing company. And the acceptance of self-mutilating behaviors and obsessive compulsive disorders as an okay way to deal with pain and tension is just downright disturbing. I have to give this one a definite thumbs down!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”