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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Jesus: The Final Journey

Wearing the same sandals he uses when portraying Jesus in his one-man play, "Road to Bethany", Robert Macklin walked the Stations of the Cross, "collecting the same dirt" from Jerusalem in his toes that Jesus did.

And the result is a book, "Jesus: The Final Journey ". He describes it thus:

I visited Israel intent on experiencing place-locations for my play. I went where He went, from the Dead Sea north to the shores of Galilee and beyond to the source of the Jordan River. After this visit it came to me that I should write about His last year on earth, because the gospels tell us where he went and what He did, but almost nothing of the “why.”

Accompany Him now, via these gospels, on this, His final journey, beginning with the feeding of the “5000,” and leading inexorably to His crucifixion, death and resurrection. On the way I will attempt to explain why He did what He did and why He went where He did. Think of Jesus: The Final Journey as a mystery story, not so much as a “whodunit,” but rather a “whydunit.”

It is an interesting book, that I recommend (and so does every reviewer at Amazon.com, where - so far - it has received unanimous five-star reviews). Much of my pleasure came from the observations that the author makes along the journey. For example:

We think of the disciples as mild-mannered men. We forget that they are men used to living out of doors, facing the elements, guarding against predators, animals and human. They are armed with swords, which some of them know how to use. They are prepared to defend their master. Indeed, Peter attacks one of them. As an ex-military man I derive satisfaction in this knowledge. Of course Peter's aim is not very good, or else the man moved at the last moment.

And this fascinating aside:

I believe that God intended to sacrifice Isaac for the sins of mankind, thousands of years earlier. Afterwards, He intended to resurrect him, and thus guarantee eternal life for the rest of the world's people. This is conjecture on my part. It may be that He only intended to test Abraham's faith as most believe.

....God knew that Abraham, His great and loyal friend, would've been devastated by the fact that he had killed his own son. So God had a change of heart and realized, at that time, that only He could bear the sorrow of killing a son worthy of sacrifice.

February 5th, 2008

 

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