Also by this author: The Promise, The Drummer Boy, 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
Published by Thomas Nelson on October 2004
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense
Buy on Amazon
A romantic thriller where the future changes in the blink of an eye . . . or does it?
Miriam is a Saudi princess promised to another, a pawn in a political struggle that could shift the balance of power in the Middle East.
Seth is a certified genius with a head full of numbers, a life full of baggage, and an attitude born on the waves of the Pacific.
Cultures collide when they find themselves thrown together as fugitives in a high-stakes chase across Southern California. A growing attraction and a search for answers fuel their fight to survive . . . but with no sleep and a massive manhunt steadily closing in, their chances of surviving any future are razor thin.
It first caught my eye in a bargain bin at Walmart in 2004. An inauspicious start to be sure…especially considering that it had released less than a year prior. But the story, one about a super-intelligent college kid who begins to see multiple futures intrigued me. Tack on an on-the-run Saudi princess and grapple with some poignant themes of faith, and I figured it was a good use of $5.
Almost twenty years later, I can definitively say that decision changed my life. Ted Dekker’s Blink is a pulse-pounding, mind-bending novel filled with surprises. While the general structure of the plot is fairly benign—it’s basically an extended chase scene—it’s the philosophical question at the heart of the novel that makes it stand out. Blink is an exploration of what theologians call middle knowledge. Developed by Luis Molina and espoused by philosopher-theologians like Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig, middle knowledge (also called Molinism) posits that God not only knows the future, but all possible futures. This provides a way of reconciling God’s absolute sovereignty with human free will.
In 2004, I was fourteen and while I had been a voracious reader in the past, I hadn’t found many novels that compelling. Blink engaged me like no other novel had before, showing me that a great Christian thriller didn’t have to focus on spiritual warfare or the apocalypse to entertain. Ted brought up deep questions and wrote an excellent story around it. Twenty years later and deep into a career evaluating novels, I can see that this isn’t Dekker’s finest work or greatest plot, but the sincerity with which Dekker wrote to discover the answer to a question made it a genuine journey in using fiction to discover the truth.
It kickstarted a new love for reading and writing. My parents bought me Ted’s three latest books for Christmas that year. Something called The Circle Trilogy. And I was hooked. I spent my Christmas money on Dekker’s backlist. Took me about two months to catch up. I’ve been on pace ever since. I met my now-wife because of a shared love for Ted’s books and proposed at a Ted Dekker/Tosca Lee booksigning. Without Blink, my life would be so very different.
But back to the review: Miriam Al-Asamm is a Saudi princess turned fugitive on the run. Forbidden from marrying her true love and instead forced into an arranged marriage with an older man, Miriam flees to the United States and finds herself in the company of super-genius Seth Border.
Seth isn’t an average genius. He’s got an IQ that would make Einstein blush and has no qualms about showing it. But then something begins to happen that’s even weird for him…he begins to see the future. And not just the future, but possible futures. When one of those futures is Miriam’s kidnapping, the two go on the run using Seth’s supernatural prognosticating to avoid capture.
Behind the scenes, the political machinations within the Saudi royalty are at work and a coup is imminent. Miriam is the missing piece that’s needed. Her marriage to a key figure will cement a partnership that’ll bring new power to the Saudi throne. Blink handles the issue of Islam about as well as you’d expect from early 2000s Christian fiction. He presents a stereotypical and flat view of Islam while playing a bit fast and loose with Muslim theology and practice. Islam as the enemy pops up in a number of Dekker’s early books—Thunder of Heaven most obviously, but even Carlos in the Circle Trilogy. Dekker’s views change and become more nuanced after his non-fiction Tea with Hezbollah.
The primary theme of Blink is simply: Does prayer work? What does God know? Seth wrestles with this question:
Let’s pretend for a moment God exists. If God knows everything, then he knows precisely which future will happen…is it possible that something different might happen? That I might say something other than what he knows I will say?…So really there is only one future. The future that God knows will happen…You can pray and beg and cut yourselves to the bone and nothing will change what God already knows will end up happening…The very fact there is more than one future means there is no all-knowing God who knows the one actual future… (pg. 226-227).
And how does Dekker answer in the story? Well, that’s one you’ll have to read the book to find out. Overall, Blink is a solid thriller with an excellent message. It was my first Dekker, and remains a favorite.
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