Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Melchi, the homeless giant in John Olson's thriller, Shade, is a man with no calling other than fighting the Mulo - the mysterious evil ones. Hints of his destiny as the child of prophecy dot the action and Melchi is determined to remain pure to his calling.

After he rescues Hailey, a graduate student being lured by the Mulo, he struggles with something unexpected: he likes her. These thoughts he finds impure. In fact, the story is peppered with his self-condemnation. He is sure at every turn that he has made himself too impure to fight the evil.

He doesn't notice what we notice, that he continues to fight effectively. He is gracious and giving, thoughtful and devoted. He doesn't notice these traits, either, but if he did, I'm sure he would not have recognized them as helpful.

Melchi worships a being that seems to be God. And yet, he doesn't understand God's grace and forgiveness. In fact, we learn that he does think he is following God but doesn't consider himself worthy to even read God's Word.

I found it interesting that Melchi remains true to his early training. He willingly offers his own life to battle evil and yet he doesn't have a complete understanding of God's grace.

How will he defeat evil if he can't even battle his own impure thoughts? Melchi nearly succumbs but you'll have to read the book to get the full picture.

Olson has done a clever job of revealing an issue common in Christian circles today: that of ministering only in our worthiness. Can we truly serve God if we are tempted? If we give in to sinful desires on occasion? Can we even worship if we are not worthy?

Shade is a good book. On one level, it's a great action-filled story. But there's another level of meaning to consider as well.

Check out Shade here and here.

Also see what others are saying about Shade:
Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

1 comment:

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Wonderful posts. Kathy, you've done an outstanding job examining this book on several levels. Really excellent. I especially appreciate your thoughts about the spiritual dimension. I think you've highlighted an important element in the book.