Ann Lovell

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review of "The Final Assault"

NOTE: This book has been removed from circulation as the author continues to revise the text. 

The Final Assault: A Novel about Finishing the Task
By Steve Smith
Rating: 4.0 Stars
Category: Christian Fiction

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pub Date: 2012

Kindle Format: 8140 lines
Kindle edition: $4.99

Product Description from the Publisher: Christopher Owen pastors a small church in Los Angeles. His life has settled into the mundane of a maintenance mentality. In a time of reflection he ponders the question: "Why can't life be more like a quest?" Suddenly his world and that of Church in the City are rattled as he stumbles upon an ancient mystery that has confronted the worldwide church for ages -- how to finish the task of world missions and live in that last generation -- the one that welcomes Christ's return.

Learning the lessons from his parents and grandparents from World War II, Christopher and his group adopt a wartime mentality to prepare the way for the King of Kings to return. In this spiritual war, no price is too great and no destination too remote as they rally disciples and churches worldwide in this final assault on the enemy's ground. But the enemy is bitterly entrenched and determined to the end. Intrigue, intimidation, charades, counter-attacks and power plays mark this age-old adversary and his human minions as he battles the Kingdom Preparation Force. A centuries-old secret society and politicians at the highest levels unite to thwart the advance of this growing mission force.

Too fantastic to be real, yet this is a realistic picture of the end times of Revelation and what it will cost the church to finish the task of the Great Commission. With 3,674 people groups YET to be reached with the Gospel, the Kingdom Preparation Force realizes that the disobedience of a church with a peacetime mentality has prevailed for too many centuries, resulting in so many that have yet to hear the name of Jesus. The final finish line of finishing the task is in sight. Other generations before have missed the finish line. What will it take to finish? Nothing less than total mobilization for war for the whole Bride of Christ. Yet, with His help, it is do-able. Step by step the KPF assaults the enemy's territory so that nothing stands between them and Christ's return.

Review: The Final Assault is a riveting story of a young pastor’s dogged pursuit to share the Gospel with every people group and prepare the way for the return of Christ. While I am usually skeptical of Christian fiction, this story kept me enthralled to the end. An excellent storyteller, Smith does an outstanding job of crafting a tale that at times reads like the book of Acts, at others like the book of Revelation and at others like today’s news headlines. Smith notes in the Afterword that he intended his book to be more about mission strategy than end-times philosophy, yet he weaves the two together in a way that is both engaging and compelling.

Some may cringe at the wartime metaphor that drives the story, but Smith explains through the voice of one of his characters that “the army of God” is just one metaphor for the Christian church: “No particular metaphor or description can characterize God’s people completely. You’re not always an army. Sometimes you’re a family, a building, a bride, a vineyard. None of these pictures is the whole picture. And yet all of them are true at the same time.”

Through credible, well-written dialogue like this along with well-developed yet quirky characters, Smith explains his strategy for reaching the nations through small teams committed to engaging every people group with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The book was not at all what I expected. It was far, far better and stands to rival “In His Steps” in its impact on a generation of 21st century evangelicals committed to finishing the task.