Also by this author: The Promise, Sinner, Green, The Dream Traveler's Quest, Into the Book of Light, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment, Millie Maven and the Bronze Medallion, Millie Maven and the Golden Vial
Series: Dekker Christmas Tales #2
Published by Thomas Nelson on December 2006
Genres: Children's, Christmas
Buy on Amazon
Now Ted Dekker brings a modern twist to this beloved song of hope, acceptance, and joy. This modern fable takes place in a large city where Christmas has been banned and replaced by a holiday that celebrates prosperity.
This is one of those books that Ted probably wishes didn’t exist. For some reason, there was a brief moment when Dekker got caught up in the hysteria of right-wing conservatism and his writing during to themes of religious persecution and Christians being silenced. While 2008’s Sinner best encapsules those motifs, it weirdly bled out into Dekker’s second Christmas gift book. Released in October 2006, The Drummer Boy imagines a not-so-distant future where Christmas has been canceled.
In this world, where Christmas has become the Holiday and any mention of Jesus is against the law, Daniel is given a drum. But this isn’t just any drum. The man who gave the drum to him said it was used by a very special boy long ago to herald the birth of a King—a great King named Jesus.
When Daniel mentions this King Jesus—whom he’s never heard of—to his father, things get tense. The only way the name of Jesus can be spoken is if the Mayor moves heaven and earth to change the Law. From that point on, Daniel is determined to bring that change to the City. He must play for the King. He must march to the beat of his own drum—the one that beats in honor of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The heart of Christmas has been frozen by the materialism of a cold city and only a Drummer Boy can make it beat again.
If Fox News made a Hallmark movie, the result would be The Drummer Boy. It’s nothing more than consumeristic pandering to conservative evangelicals, decrying alleged liberal attempts to cancel Christmas or say “Happy Holidays.” The one positive thing I’ll say is that Dan Thornberg returns to The Drummer Boy to provide the same beautifully detailed paintings as seen in The Promise.
The concept of Dekker Christmas Tales was a good one and The Promise showed that the concept had…well…promise. But The Drummer Boy is a different genre altogether. While I can appreciate the theme of bringing dead religion back to life again, the way in which the story is presented was only meant to enflame and capitalize upon the culture wars.