Ted Dekker's AdamChristian fiction is one of those genres in which I really have a hard time finding stories that I can stick with and enjoy. As a Christian, my beliefs are profound and strong, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy feeling as if I am being preached at. When I read Christian non-fiction, I expect some preachiness, but when it comes to fiction, I don’t feel like reading a 200-page church sermon.

I believe that you can create a fiction world where God is real, where faith is strong (and at times, questioned and doubted), and where the characters and their actions are truthful. Too many times though, Christian authors seem more interested in getting a certain message across than in plot and character development and as such, their stories become stiff, overly preachy and unrealistic. They wind up preaching to the choir, but this is one choir member who doesn’t always like being preached at.

So imagine my surprise and relief when I discovered New York Times best-selling author, Ted Dekker. I heard someone refer to him as the Christian version of Stephen King and that caught my attention. “Christian” and “Stephen King” aren’t usually found in the same sentence let alone used together as a compliment.

I first read House (co-written with Frank Peretti) and then I moved on to Thr3e. I thought they were pretty good. Not great, but definitely much better than anything I had ever found in Christian fiction.

I recently came across Adam while at the library and decided to give it a try.

Needless to say, I was hooked. This was the first time in a long time in which I couldn’t put a book down.

The story revolves around FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark, who is in pursuit of a serial killer by the name of “Eve.” The killer has murdered 15 women so far, each during a new moon and Daniel must stop him (or her) before the killing gets too close to home.

Daniel comes close to catching him, and even catches a glimpse of the killer’s face, when he’s attacked and left for dead. He in fact, does die at the scene but is brought back to life. Daniel becomes so obsessed with finding the killer that he decides that in order for him to be able to recall the killer’s face, he must die again, going so far as to embark on some rather scary experiments in order to make that happen.

Daniel is a man who is prejudiced against faith. Big time. And in chasing down the serial killer he is forced to deal with his fears and prejudices against religion. It’s a story about good vs. evil, demon possession and the struggle with faith. The book didn’t take me where I expected it to and become more creepy and chilling with each passing page.

Dekker has been criticized by Christians for being too violent and too dark. But he defends his position and in an interview with CBN.com stated:

“It is critical that writers who embrace the light of Christ’s redemptive love characterize the darkness arrayed against us in a way that is consistent with its true nature. Darkness and evil are no less comforting than a wolf is a sheep. So when I write about the wolf, I give him fangs and a thirst for blood, not a lap dog who we feel nice about cuddling.”

 Dekker has the ability to take his faith in Christ and intertwine it with real characters who have real struggles (the Christians aren’t portrayed as goody two-shoes and the non-believers aren’t portrayed as people who lack morals and decency) and then tops it all off with heart pounding suspense and horror.

Some Christian authors seem to fear the portrayal of evil.  You find yourself realizing that this writer either doesn’t understand what evil is or they feel that a Christian should not portray anything too bad, so they create “bad guys” but still make them into cookie-cutter characters because we don’t want to give anyone any bad ideas. We don’t want to fill your head with anything that isn’t “good” or “pure.” After all, the Bible is filled with bad guys, but of course, their stories are pretty clean-cut…there’s no talk of rape or witchcraft or murder or adultery….not in the Bible!

Right?

Well, that’s what some authors (and Christians in general) would like you to believe.

For some, it’s better to just sugar coat the truth so that you don’t scare anyone too much and of course, the last thing any Christian wants to do is offend anyone, so it’s easier to create one-dimensional characters who get saved as soon as possible, leaving us no time to understand their struggles or what drives them to do the things that they do.

Thank God for a man like Ted Dekker.

If you’re looking for a work of fiction in the horror/suspense genre that will leave you on the edge of your seat, but leaves the foul language and sexual situations to other authors and if you’re looking for a story that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking, I highly recommend Ted Dekker’s Adam.

It was this book that made me decide to read the rest of Dekker’s work and so far, it’s been a fun and thrilling ride.

Click Here to watch Dekker discuss Adam in a video on YouTube.

Adam by Ted Dekker
Order here through Amazon.com
Adam – Official Web site
Ted Dekker.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595540075
$17.15

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