Author Jack Cavanaugh, using notes from the late Bill Bright, has created a collaboration for Fire, the second book in their Great Awakenings series. This historical novel is set in the middle of the eighteenth century and tackles issues related to redemption and spiritual strength. It shows how God’s love is both cleansing and eternal.
Josiah Rush is a newly ordained minister who carries unbearable regret. He is the cause of three innocent deaths that stunned his town seven years ago. In a twist of fate, Josiah returns home to preach, but he is met with cold stares, unforgotten memories, and decaying spiritual lives. He also discovers a few alliances still intact, but his former sweetheart is now engaged to a childhood friend. Things only get worse when two diseases ravage the town: one being the epidemic-inducing smallpox and the other a spiritual disease that Josiah has coined “Soul Sickness.” Amidst all this turmoil, Josiah must continually ask himself how he can be the religious advisor to a people who only see a murderer standing at their pulpit.
Cavanaugh and Bright’s style is easy reading, with flowing sentences and short chapters. The authors also have the skill of creating characters who are realistic, entertaining, and intriguing. Yet, at times tangents and subplots amid the main plot bogged the story down in several places. All in all, Fire is an engrossing novel that carries with it an empowering message of salvation. – Andrew Culbertson, Christian Book Previews.com
Like a deadly disease, sin has infected the American colony of Havenhill, Connecticut, and Josiah Rush seems to be the only person who sees the evil that has gripped the town. Blamed for a fire that nearly destroyed the colony seven years ago, Josiah spent seven years in exile. Now, having returned as pastor of First Church, his cries of alarm fall on deaf ears. Determined to save the town he loves, Josiah Rush endures personal attacks as he battles an insidious unseen enemy who is equally determined to use the town for its own immoral purposes.
With historical appearances by Great Awakening preachers Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, this novel portrays spiritual revival as the only cure for a sin-sick nation.