Series: The Caleb Books #2
Published by Thomas Nelson on September 2002
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense
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Caleb changed the world as a child. He sang and a nation fell to its knees. But time passed and world spun on and forgot about what God accomplished through Caleb. Caleb himself forgot. This is the story of how he remembered his faith.
As tension mounts between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, David ben Solomon is convinced the only way for it to dissipate is to take it to the boiling point. Muslims have been in control of the Temple Mount for far too long and it is time for Israel to take back what is theirs. But the only way this will ever happen is if Israel decides to rebuild the Temple. And this will only happen if Israel has the Ark of the Covenant. Following some enigmatic leads, he sends his daughter, archaeologist-turned-assassin Rebecca ben Solomon, deep into the heart of Ethiopia to find the one man who may know the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Caleb.
Hot on her trail is an Islamic assassin named Ishmael, intent on killing Rebecca and her crew not just to satisfy a personal revenge but also to ensure that the Ark is never found. Chaos and cacophony surround the formerly peaceful monastery called Debra Demarro. Caleb flees into the desert, both to escape and to find himself. And that is only the beginning.
A Man Called Blessed picks up several years after Blessed Child. Caleb has grown but his faith has diminished. Life has become humdrum rather than a miracle. That childlike faith he once had seems to have disappeared. He now lives in the rebuilt remains of the monastery he grew up in, but the spiritual power it held seems to have vanished. The novel is one of searching: Caleb for his lost faith, Rebecca for the artifact she believes will save her people, Ishmael for the revenge he believes will save his people. But amidst the personal storylines, a political story is writ large. Dekker weaves a compelling storyline with deep and powerful themes, concluding masterfully with a twist that really gets to the heart of the matter. To say more would be to spoil the beauty, so I shan’t.
Simply this: Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed was originally published way back in 2002, before Dekker ever launched himself into prominence. Co-authored with the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright, they served to help bring Dekker’s novels more into the limelight. Yet there are a lot of people who’ve never read Dekker’s older books.
Thomas Nelson has done a great thing by repackaging these older volumes and reprinting them for a new generation of Dekker readers. It’s beneficial for them, I’m sure, but above all, I’m glad to see these older works in the hands of new readers. I first read the Caleb books way back in the day (2004, right after the Circle Trilogy compelled me to read all of Dekker’s backlist), but it had been almost fifteen years since I’d been back to those stories. They ring just as powerful and poignant now as then. Seriously, Dekker fan or not, this is a novel you want to read.
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