Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Mysterious Ways

by Deborah H.

While at a recent Christian Writer’s Conference in Albuquerque, I was privileged to meet several writers, editors and agents I’d never heard of before. One of the stand-outs was Terry Burns, an author/agent, who taught several of the classes I attended. He used illustrations from his book, Mysterious Ways, and I knew I wanted to read it. The most provocative thing he said was that sometimes God has a different audience than you plan. When he wrote this book, it was just a story he wanted to tell. He didn’t have any ulterior motives for writing it, but God chose to use it in a way Terry Burns never imagined! God used this as an evangelistic tool in prison populations. Terry said after this book was published he started getting letters from all over, from prisoners who had been saved as a result of reading this book, saying things like, “If this could happen to someone like Amos [the main character in the book], then I thought it was possible it could happen to me.” How could I not read this book?

Mysterious Ways is an easy read. Its premise is brilliant. A con man in the wild west steals a set of preacher’s clothes so he could pose as a man of God as a cover for his criminal activity. The thing is that the town he wound up in was starved for the Word of God and quickly let Amos know they were expecting a lot from him as he ministered to their town. So Amos was in a dilemma. If he left town, they’d know he was the outlaw who’d just held up a stage. They’d be on him in no time to bring him to justice. But if he stayed, he had to keep up this pretense of being a preacher.

Since this is a western, boys, girls, men and women alike would enjoy reading this book. And though there are threads of racial inequality and romance woven into the book, it is pretty tame, considering it gives us a glimpse into the depraved mind of a man who only wants to swindle people out of their money—or does he?

Good reading and a good book to give big, tough men who haven’t yet accepted the Lord. It exposes them to the gospel in an unusually deceptive way—or should I say, in mysterious ways?