Thursday, July 21, 2011

The List by Robert Whitlow

Storyline: Renny Jacobson is a bored young Southern lawyer who dreams of enough money to fulfill his (many) wants. When his father dies, he leaves Renny a chest of papers, a post office box in Charlotte, and inheritance in an organization called the Covenant List.

Before long, Renny receives a letter in his post office box calling him to a meeting of the Covenant List. On his way, he meets a another person with interest in the List—a young woman whose father recently died, named Jo Johnson. Renny is immediately attracted to her, but when they meet with the others members of the List, they discover a problem. The Covenant List, formed in the late years of the Civil War, has only been passed from father to eldest son. No women are allowed to inherit their share in the List—which happens to be a Swiss bank account of substantial numbers.

Renny is ecstatic, but Jo cautions him to thoroughly look into the List before joining. Renny ignores her and signs his name into the ledger book of the List. But before too long, he has reason to suspect that the List is more than just a group hiding money. When Jo falls ill, Renny delves into the background of the List—and discovers a centuries old evil waiting to be unleashed.

My Thoughts:

The first half of the List was (I thought) somewhat boring. Jo is a Christian, Renny is not, so there are several conversations about God that seem cliché or awkward. Altogether, it seems like a lot of the first half is stilted and uncomfortable. However, towards the middle Whitlow begins to pick it up—and wow!

This book is all about the power of prayer while fighting spiritual evil. While Whitlow doesn't delve into the spiritually creepiness of it all as much as Peretti or Dekker, there's still enough to leave goosebumps crawling over your arms. And although at first, you may think, "Oh yeah right, no way that could happen", the more you read, the more you realize—this is happening today.

Maybe there's not a sinister List infused with the power of darkness, but there are spiritual battles swirling unseen around us. There are people, Christians and non-Christians alike, caught up in this battle. And for us Christians, we are duty-bound to use our prayers like swords for Christ.

Despite the stilted conversations and the slow first half, the powerful message carries this story along. I'd definitely suggest everyone read it.


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