Last night I started reading Relentless, by Infuze founder and editor-in-chief Robin Parrish. Oh my goodness -- the title says it all. From the opening sentence you're pulled into the story and it doesn't let up (at least it hasn't yet and I'm a third of the way through the book). One of the reasons I don't read a lot of thrillers is that they've become so formulaic and unsatisfying. But Relentless has a lot going for it that lifts it out of the genre's typical rut. There's a sense of the epic here, a sense of forces larger than life at work. Like a good comic book, the action is sharply drawn. The hero (Grant Borrows) is an ordinary guy who is suddenly thrown into a circumstance he can't understand. While this has been done a lot, the character is fleshed out well, as are most of the other characters. And the story is propelled non-stop from the start. Again, this could be a weakness, but so far the pace works for me. I'll have more to say when I finish the book -- for now I'll just say I'm liking this a lot.
On another subject: A couple of days ago I posted about being honest Christians. Then, yesterday I read this great interview with Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay frontman) at Christian Music Today. He talks about the band's new album and his efforts to be more honest about who he is and about his struggles and temptations. This is excellent. And here's a related thought. One of Haseltine's points is that being honest with those around you allows for accountability. And I realized that maybe one reason we aren't really honest with each other about how our faith life is going is that we don't really want to be held accountable. We're really encouraging people at church to be involved with small groups, which I believe in. As our church grows (we're running close to 400 every Sunday, split between two services) it becomes harder for the pastoral staff to really minister to everybody. The body needs to take care of itself and small groups can be an effective way to nurture and disciple people. But there are always people who don't want to be involved in small groups and I wonder if this avoidance of accountability is part of it. I don't have any hard evidence for this, it's just a thought.