Category Archives: teen reading

A Review of The Veritas Conflict by Shaunti Feldhahn

100_0963 Did you ever wonder about the behind the scenes struggle that causes us to think what we think, say what we say, and do what we do? The Apostle Paul said that our battles in this world are not with flesh and blood, that is, other people, but with principalities and powers in Ephesians 6:12. Principalities and powers are high-ranking demons who surround the air on planet earth. That is why our enemy is known as the prince of the power of the air. The air surrounding planet earth is his domain, and he uses it to stir the battle between his fallen angels and Christ and His followers. In Psalm 2:1 we read that the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing. In verse 2 it says that mankind plots against the Lord and His Annointed. Why? Our enemy still thinks he will win although his doom was sealed when Christ rose up from the grave victorious (see John 19:30).

What does that have to with this book The Veritas Conflict? Well, in this fictional work we behold a battle raging for the souls of men and women right on college campuses. In particular, this book is about one of the historic Christian colleges in America: Harvard. In the prologue, we see the Christian foundations of the college assaulted right from its beginning and carry on all the way through the book.

The story is told through the life of key characters: a smart young freshman named Claire Rivers. Her believing parents worry for her well-being on the liberal campus. Also are many other characters, some Christian and some evil that conspire to cause great harm to the Christian cause. There is a secret conspiracy as old as the school itself, and Claire finds herself right in the middle of it all. But also given names are principalities and powers that are influencing Claire and her room-mate, professors and board members. The story portrays the influence that these beings have over the people and the disastrous results of their lies.

I checked this book out from my local library because I wanted to read more about spiritual warfare. The author wrote from experience, having experienced the spiritual climate at Harvard when she earned her master’s there. Though some parts of the plot seemed a bit contrived, I was drawn right into the story. It held my attention through this long work of 457 pages. This book was published by Multnomah Press in 2000. One thing I took away from this story was the power of prayer, our only offensive weapon against the enemy (Ephesians 6:18). God desires us to pray for our children out on their own for the first time. For insight into the battle that rages especially in the minds of our young people on campuses across this country, I highly recommend this book. Also, to see how great the battle is just to have an honest debate between evolution and creation,and for a professor to even mention “Intelligent Design.” the documentary “Expelled” by Ben Stein is also highly recommended.

There is a spiritual battle that is raging all around us, and this book will open your eyes to just that.

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An endearing story of selflessness…The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

OK, I admit to you all that I had a book on my shelf that I bought for my children when homeschooling them. It sat for many years. I am not even sure that any of them read it, but last night, I said to myself that the book had sat long enough neglected. I pulled out my ex-library copy of Paul Gallico’s novella The Snow Goose.

I have a vague memory of seeing this as  a movie and it haunted me. For some reason, I thought it was a Christmas tale but it isn’t. However, it does convey the spirit of Christmas as the main character gives his life for others.

Paul Gallico’s short story was first published in the Saturday Evening Post and then made into a novella. Philip Rhayader is the main character, but he is deformed. His one hand is like a claw and he is hunchbacked. Society shuns him so he lives in a lighthouse all alone, but he has a magic touch with the birds he encounters along the English shoreline. One day a disheveled little girl comes to him with a wounded snow goose in her arms. He is able to nurse the goose back to health, and he and the goose eventually becomes attached to Philip.

Though the bird is from Canada, it does not return there, but every winter will fly down to winter with Philip. The little girl, Fritha, comes back every year to see the snow goose. Eventually, a deep friendship grows between Fritha and Philip, even though she recoils because of his deformities at first.Fritha looks beyond the outward and realizes she loves Philip as she grows into a woman.

Britain is at war with Germany in the second World War and Philip hears of wounded soldiers trapped at the Battle of Dunkirk. One day Fritha sees Philip getting into his boat. She wants to go with him, but he must go alone across the sea to rescue the wounded soldiers and collect them off the bloody beach. But actually, Philip is not alone, for the snow goose is flying with him.

He ends up rescuing hundreds of soldiers. But the Germans attack with their machine guns and Philip is killed. The snow goose protects him whenever someone comes near. The bird becomes like a legend. and anyone who sees him is protected.

When the snow goose returns to the lighthouse alone, Fritha knows that Philip is gone. She comes to the lighthouse every day to care for the birds. But, at last, the lighthouse is destroyed by a German bomber.

The Snow Goose teaches adolescents, well, all of us, valuable lessons. Fritha looked beyond an apparent handicaps and saw true beauty in Philip as he cared for the creatures, and the soldiers on the beach. The Snow Goose shows us his loyalty by coming back to Philip’s lighthouse year after year, and guarding his body in death. Philip was kind to all, in spite of being an outcast. Good lessons, all, and revealing the wonder of the spirit of giving as exemplified when God became a tiny baby for our sakes.

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