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Sinner

by Ted Dekker
Series: The Paradise Novels #3
375 pages, Suspense
Reviewed by Permanent Rose

Great book with great morals, but very violent and perhaps even slightly graphic.

Plot

Billy Rediger and Darcy Lange discover the amount of their power and influence one night after surviving a break-in into Darcy's house. They use this influence to convince the Senate to amend the First Amendment, prohibiting slander, defamation, or libel to a person's race, origin, or religion. The amendment is meant as an attempt to eliminate hate crimes, but also makes public worship and public ministry of Christians illegal.

Morality

Good is good and bad is bad, and both display stark differences. There is some flirting between the main characters, but for the most part the moral lines are clear.

Spiritual Content

This is written with a Christ-centered foundation, and Christianity is present throughout the whole book. Johnny Drake and the citizens of Paradise are Christians and attend church daily. Johnny converts multiple characters throughout the book using his power to show people the Truth. The evil characters are deceptive and work against Johnny, Paradise, and the rest of the 3,000 believers who come to Paradise. There is some mention of Muslim beliefs, Atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, mysticism, and Satanism, and one character invents her own religion to go against the grain. There`s also a mention of the number 666 when the main characters talk about the bad guys.

Violence

One character slaps another, there's a fight in one place, there are a few hangings here and there, lots of hitting, and one character gets shot and killed. Someone bites a person's lip and draws blood, and the main antagonists sort of turn into dust. All the bad characters die, but it's hardly graphic, and no description should be enough to make a person really cringe.

Drug and Alcohol Content

I think Billy and Darcy might have been drinking some wine at one point, but there was no drunkenness mentioned, if I remember correctly.

Sexual Content

Billy and Darcy flirt quite a bit; Johnny and Kelly are engaged for a while; there is a mention of one character having an infatuation with Johnny, who is years older than her; however, she clears it up by proving this suspicion false. There's quite a bit of kissing, and there's one spot where two men kiss, but it's put in a bad light and one of the men ends up traumatized from this. (The other man is evil, and both of them are heterosexual.) There's one part where Billy kisses Darcy's neck.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

"Hell" is used both appropriately and inappropriately, and there might be "screw" used somewhere in there. A character repeatedly insults both Christians and Muslims, but she later learns her lesson. A name used to defame Christians is "Bloodsuckers". Johnny gets in trouble with the government at one point, but it's not because he did anything bad.

Conclusion

"Sinner" is a great book about sharing one's faith. It also tackles common misconceptions about the nature of religious tolerance, and the overall values are great. Some of the content is shocking, and a bit questionable at first read. A few parts are a bit scary, and the relationship between Billy and Darcy is somewhat rushed from my perspective. Like many of Dekker's books, "Sinner" is fairly dark and is not good for readers who are easily disturbed or frightened. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone under 13. Still, positive morality is upheld throughout the whole book.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: adult

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