I must say that my wife first introduced Francine Rivers to me in a book entitled “The Scribe”, which was the story of Silas; Paul’s companion for some time. Subsequently I have read “and the Shofar Blew” and I must say I am pretty impressed with her story weaving abilities. I normally do not do much fiction reading, and when I do it is mostly Clive Cussler do to his humerous writing and plot melding style. “and the Shofar Blew” is a novel about a young family and a young pastor who grew up in the shadow of his father. His father is a mega-church pastor and author whose public career has always been a shining star, but whose personnal life is shattered. The story unfolds as Paul, the young pastor, leaves for an opportunity to take a dying church in California. He comes with the best of intentions but soon disregards all in his quest to win his father’s approval and become a mega-church pastor in his own right.
This story is a must read for anyone aspiring and called into a pastoral ministry, and also a great read for those not called into a pulpit ministry as well. She weaves some timeless truths into her story about love and compassion, as well as how easily one can be lulled into sin if you do not guard yourself daily. The book does a great job in exploring the dynamic often played out in an ambitious young preacher’s life if he gets caught up in the ‘success’ of his ministry.
As seemingly with most of her novels, it is set up for group reading as well with several questions to choose as conversation starters when reading as a group. All in all i’d highly recommend this book to anyone as a good lesson in putting the priorities of family and church in proper perspective.