A book review for parents
This contemporary Christian book in the "The Powerlink Chronicles" series is written by Josh McDowell and Chuck Klein and is published by Word Publishing.
Truth Slayers is written for kids, ages 13 to 17. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
The main plot centers on high school student Brittany and her struggles with sex and the truth. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Matt, after she realizes she made a poor choice in having sex with him. To get away from Matt and her own physical desire for him, Brittany joins a teen trip to an archeological dig in Israel. On the trip, Brittany gets into trouble by doing things, such as breaking curfew. If she breaks one more rule, she'll be sent home. Brittany tells Jason, a high school friend on the team, about Matt and her past. Jason applauds her new choices and admits how much he cares for Brittany. He asks her to be his girlfriend. She thinks he is just what she needs.
Police accuse Bryan, a member of the dig that few like, of leaving camp and stealing from a store in town. Brittany knows she must decide whether to tell the truth: She saw Bryan in the camp while she was breaking curfew. If she does, Bryan can stay, but she will have to leave. A traumatic storm and prayer encounter with God help Brittany choose to be truthful. The story ends as Brittany departs for the airport. In the demonic subplot, demons try to use relative truth as a weapon to disrupt relationships between the kids and God. They fail when Brittany and the others all accept God's rules as their standard. In the inside story, author Josh McDowell presents facts about kids who adhere to absolute truth and those who don't. He also explains a four-step process to make godly choices by comparing decisions to God's Word.
This novel contains a story, a sub-plot of demonic activity and an inside story that talk about the difference between absolute truth and the humanistic view of relative truth. Brittany is a Christian and is trying to do what God wants her to do.
Shebtai, a devout Jew, is the leader of the dig. He patiently explains the reasons behind many of the rules. At first the teens feel he is harsh. Later they accept Shebtai as a wise leader because they realize the camp rules are not arbitrary and truth is not relative. Philip is one of the teens on the dig. His pastor-father is cold, demanding and doesn't listen to Philip. At the end of the book, Brittany realizes that her mom has tried to teach her that God is the standard of Truth, and Brittany is the one who rejected it and accepted her peer's beliefs of relative truth.
Other Belief Systems
Shebati explains how many Jewish traditions and beliefs help people understand the character of God. He shares how God's rule of not committing adultery helps people discover God is pure and that trust and intimacy thrive in an atmosphere of purity. He uses artifacts of the dig to share how Jewish people of the past prayed and lived. He also stops Bryan from loudly denouncing Muslims in public and shares the importance of lovingly tolerating people of other faiths without accepting their beliefs. A town scene depicts Muslims while they are stopping work to pray to Allah.
Philip flashes back to a party he attended where a student was shot and the bloody corpse lay on the floor. The demonic scenes include name-calling, bashing doors, the slapping of other demons and two gorilla-like demons roughly grabbing a smaller demon.
The first chapter reveals that Brittany and Matt progressed from dating to being sexually active. However, sexual intimacy did not fill Brittany's emotional needs, and she broke up with Matt. Bryan and Susan, other members of the dig, left in a jeep and made-out. Jason and two friends tried to tease Brittany into thinking they were skinny-dipping. Jason imagined himself kissing Brittany and holding hands with her. The inside story provided facts on sexually transmitted diseases and about abortion, and discusses the emotional effects of sex before marriage. Brittany kisses Jason twice.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- What is the problem with believing in relative truth?
What is wrong with Brittany and Philip's argument that their choices should be okay if they don't hurt anyone?
Read Romans 12:1-2.
Why should you commit all your choices to God?
- How can staying sexually pure help you eventually have a better marriage?
- How does Avi's respect for her father (Shebati) show the importance of respecting your parents even when you don't understand their rules?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.