Monday, December 14, 2009

Green by Ted Dekker--A Most Provoking Novel

I’m normally not an allegory lover, so I struggled about a week to give an honest review of Green by Ted Dekker. This is one of the few books I’ve read that I’ve pondered about for many days after I read it.

The Circle is a meager nation of seventeen thousand people living two-thousand-plus-years in the future under the leadership of Thomas Hunter, a man catapulted into their world from our contemporary era. They have followed the tenets of Elyon, their Creator and Savior, but no one has seen Him in a decade, and doubts about Him have eroded their faith. Discouraged by their bare, nomadic existence with the need to constantly flee from the enemies they’re forbidden to fight, many in the Circle, including Thomas’s son, Samuel, turn away from their Creator to war against their foes and avenge their victims.
Green delves into concerns people deal with today: God in control, bad things happening to good people, unanswered prayers, and so on. But it also depicts a thrilling and joyful glimpse of a personal union with our loving Creator. Dekker uses tons of action, strong depiction of multi-layered characters, vivid examples of demonic seduction and deception, and clever plot twists to provide ongoing conflict that keeps the reader quickly turning pages. Although evil characters dominate the story (almost too graphically at times for some), other scenes parallel biblical accounts of the futile sacrifices of the prophets of Baal and the Battle of Armageddon, reminding the reader that God is exceedingly more powerful than His antithesis. Just as the Bible reveals the saints of God rallying with Jesus to vanquish His enemies at the end of time as we know it, the members of the Circle who remain faithful to Elyon do the same thing. Sort of.

I wished Dekker had described Elyon with greater power, giving Him “equal time” to balance all the evil portrayed in so many scenes. I was also disappointed in the spotty parts given to Thomas Hunter, his sister, Kara, and her dear friend, Monique, who played such important roles in earlier books (Black, Red, White--which helped me understand events in Green more than I would had I not read them first). But most of all, I wished the ending had a resolution that satisfied me (like in Dekker’s Blink, for example). Still, the love scene with the Creator ignited a flame of yearning for Him inside me. And the lust scenes with the devil and his cronies provoked me to abhor them more than ever. These two results are the main reasons I would cautiously recommend Green to other readers.

Disclaimer: In accordance with FTC rules, this book was sent to me directly from the publisher and as such constitutes compensation for my review.


  1. Though I normally don't gravitate to his works, Decker is a great writer! I must say, you have piqued my interest with this one!!!

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  2. I have read Dekker's Black, but have yet to read the rest of the Circle series. Dekker's later works, after the Circle series, have turned darker without having a strong inspirational message. As time permits, I'll probably read the rest of the Circle series. Here's my review of Black if interested: