Book Review: “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger” by David Gregory (2005)

“An Invitation Worth Considering”

The tagline for Stranger is about as assertive as I feel in recommending this book. I have never been a fan of fiction that puts words in Christ’s mouth, and here is a book that is filled with it. The story is based off Revelation 3:20 and Christ’s words: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”

Why I have issues with this sort of fiction, I hope, is obvious. When a man seeks to drive a point home with “what if scenarios” and includes a comment like “What if Christ said…” that’s one thing. But to base an entire book on a theoretical conversation is to suggest that Christ Himself is a character pliable in the author’s hand, and that the author knows exactly what Christ would say and how Christ would respond to one’s questions. See Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack for the epitome of how far “Christian fiction” has gone in this vein. Apparently we have become discontent with blasphemies living across town and with heresies slipping in through the back door. Now we invite them both into our homes as guests named “fiction.”

What floored me more than the “words of Christ” in Stranger was the response of the main character, Nick, “in retrospect” to meeting Christ on page 10. Honestly? Are we to allow the sheer blasphemy of of cursing Christ’s name in our pleasure reading now? The Name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9)? The Name by which all men must be saved (Acts 4:12)? The name on which people call to be saved (Romans 10:13)? The name at which every knee will one day bow (Philippians 2:10)?

I am all for fiction, leisure time, and pleasure reading. But I am disappointed that I used that time to read these 100 pages. This is one book I definitely will not recommend.

[I received this book free for review from Waterbrook Press]

©2011 E.T.

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