Beacon Hill Press
Al Truesdale’s The Baal Conspiracy brings to light Satan’s crafty attempts to corrupt the worship of God. God’s chosen people, from the Israelites to the modern Church, are deceived not through the efforts of hostile pagans but from the inside by the infiltration of the church. This conspiracy has been very successful throughout history and has frequently skewed the Church’s view of God to the point that God’s people often see nothing wrong with shaping him to fit their lifestyles. The Baal Conspiracy receives its name from the pagan god of fertility who sabotaged the faith of the people of Israel. Truesdale asserts that recognizing the conspiracy is not enough, and he outlines resources for defeating Satan’s scheme and ensuring that God will receive the worship he deserves.
The book chronicles several historical periods of the Bible that present the Baal conspiracy in action, from Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel to power issues within the Corinthian church. It employs first-person narratives of historical and fictional characters to display clearly how God’s people were led astray by the scheme and how they were faithfully redeemed every time by God’s loving hand. Before almost every chapter, Truesdale includes a preface that provides background information, explains the specific form of the conspiracy depicted, and lists of corresponding Bible verses. As a longtime professor of philosophy of religion and Christian ethics, Truesdale’s profound biblical insights help readers gain a fuller understanding of the selected passages, and his use of first person narrative makes the stories more vivid and dynamic.
“Battling and overcoming the Conspiracy in one’s own life and in the Church requires rigorous honesty, discernment, and humility,” says Truesdale, who goes on to emphasize the Church’s strength as a community when under fire from Satan. The Baal conspiracy may sound daunting, but comfort can be taken in Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “On this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” For his final Bible story, Truesdale selects Christ’s triumph over Satan’s wilderness temptations to give reassurance that as long as we align ourselves with Christ, Satan is powerless to corrupt our worship.
The Baal Conspiracy’s strength lies within its narratives, which come to life and offer dramatic proof of God’s mercy and justice in his dealings with his people. Truesdale’s biblical scholarship is on full display, and although the historical details can be a bit tedious, the book succeeds in explaining the issues from all sides. (Such as the Israelites’ perceived economic benefits of worshiping Baal.) This book is recommended for Christians of all ages and would be a valuable resource for an adult Sunday school class or a group Bible study. – Nicolas Van Heest, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Compromised worship has serious roots and serious consequences. The Israelites can vouch for that. Through an effort to have the best of both worlds, they spent centuries attempting to worship both Yahweh and the fertility god, Baal. With this misguided concept of the true God and true worship, the Israelites lives became immersed in a conspiracy to maintain a love of God and a love of everyday gods.
In The Baal Conspiracy, author Al Truesdale exposes the truth behind what this Baal conspiracy meant for the Israelites: that God, in fact, cannot be denied or shared in any form of worship. With solid biblical scholarship, Truesdale employs historical fiction to explain and explore how Christians can confront and defeat the Baal conspiracy in the Church and in daily living.