Voice in the Darkness - Della Letkeman
John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
Paperback, 286 pages,
Published by Everyday Publications Inc. 310 Killaly Street West, Port Colborne, Ontario, L3K 6A6, Canada.
The contents of this book owe a great deal to Dr. R. E. Harlow who had hoped to write an account of the life of the apostle Paul, but was called home before he could complete that project. Della Letkeman has taken over Dr. Harlow’s planned work – not an easy task. She has provided a very readable account of Paul’s life, drawing together the material already prepared, and offering, largely in chronological order, a narrative history of the apostle to the Gentiles.
The author’s method has been to collate data taken from the New Testament, and from extra-biblical sources, and to bring all this together into a seamless narrative. In order to make that narrative flow, and to enhance its impact on the reader, the writer has used what she describes as ‘artistic licence’ when recreating some of the scenes, imagining the dialogue which might lie behind the raw facts. Although this literary device works perfectly well when she is offering additional factual information, it is not so successful when she attempts to reflect the emotional reactions of the main characters. This can sometimes prove a distraction and, on occasions, comes dangerously close to trivialising significant events. In keeping with the tenor of the book, scripture quotations are mainly from the New Living Translation. The book consists of a preface, twenty-two chapters, and an epilogue. Some thirty-six maps, charts, illustrations, and photographs support the narrative, and add to its clarity. The material drawn upon is underpinned by very full references and a bibliography contains suggestions for further reading.
Although no target readership is explicitly defined, and the book is accessible to all age-groups, the style which the author has adopted will ensure that this work will be well received by younger readers. It provides an excellent overview of Paul’s life, and ministry, showing how his epistles dovetail into the record of the Acts, and will help the reader to understand how the apostle’s work of bringing the gospel to the Gentile nations was carried out in the unsympathetic, and often hostile, world of the first century.