21 May 2013

Indie Review: Knowing (A Series of Gifts) by Tammy Hill

Ember is unwillingly stuck in Smalltown, Georgia (pop. 15,000), when her mother divorces Bill. Ember is a Christian, although you wouldn’t know it based on her behaviour over the last four years. She strikes up an immediate friendship—and romance—with Cade, and through him is introduced to Mouse, who invites Ember to her church youth group.

As Ember unpacks and settles into her new home, school and church, she finds that she attracts attention not just as the new girl, but as the strange girl. Because something strange is happening. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes when she sees someone, she knows things about them—private things, things no one else would know. This gets her in trouble at first, but then one person believes her. And things change.

Knowing isn’t just a standard Christian novel with an evangelical bent. It goes further than that, as Ember comes to know and understand that the miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit detailed in the Bible weren’t just for Biblical times, but are for now. In that, the novel is more Pentecostal than evangelical, yet it manages to dispel some myths about Pentecostals and normalise them. Us.

Those who don’t believe that God gives people these gifts and talents today might be tempted to discount this novel, but they’d be missing something. And think about it: the doctrine of Cessationism is that “miracles, prophecies and such in the Bible existed to help grow the church. They don’t exist now because we don’t need them any more”.

Yet we live in a society where church attendance is declining rapidly, where large portions of Africa and South America are run by governments that are rife with corruption and human rights abuses, and where the War on Terror against Islamic militants in the Middle East has been continuing for more than a decade.

God is being dismissed as irrelevant by the majority of the population. At the same time, large portions of the church believe we don’t need His miracles any more, because we don’t need to grow the church. Are we stupid, or merely ignorant? Hmm. (Rant over.)

The title, Knowing: A series of gifts, implies this is the first book of a series covering some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as seen in I Corinthians 12:8-10. Ember has shown us the gift of messages of knowledge. I look forward to seeing what’s next.

Thanks to Tammy Hill for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Tammy Hill at her website.

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