The Best Christian Historical Fiction Reviewed By BookViral

"An intensely spiritual and truth searching crusade..."

Christian Historical Fiction

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  • ASIN: ‎ B0B17TJHJM
  • Publisher: ‎ Grosvenor House Publishing (26 May 2022)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 343 pages
  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

The BookViral Review:

Powerfully written in an evocative style, ‘Faith and Fortitude’, Crispin Rogers’ historical account of his likely ancestor, John Rogers (the first of 287 Protestant martyrs under Queen Mary) is a stark reminder of religious falsehood and the intermingling of state and church towards their own corrupt ends.

Throughout the middle-ages, as a vehicle of control, the Romish Church kept the Bible hidden through lack of translation into accessible languages; the truth of the Bible was not evident and false creeds and practices were hidden, thus reducing faith and religion to a plaything of political entities.

Written in classic and commanding prose, Rogers recounts the life of John Rogers, editor of the Thomas Matthew Bible, the first ever authorised (1537) version in English, translated by William Tyndale, who was eventually burned at the stake for this innocent endeavour.

Following in the footsteps of Martin Luther, who called the Papist Catholic Church out for excising material gain from the common people and acting as false shepherds, Tyndale and Rogers dedicated their lives to furthering the Truth, as found in the Holy Scriptures.

Rogers, although embellishing his account of John Rogers life, nevertheless holds fast to its overarching trajectory, which moved from a largely intellectual exercise of biblical examination to an intensely spiritual and truth searching crusade, with the goal that all people ‘from high, to ordinary, to lowly’, should be able to read and be inspired by God’s word.

With fascinating historical context regarding William Tyndale and John Rogers efforts in importing copies of the newly translated Bible to England, Rogers emotive language demonstrates how they gained faith from the Apostle Paul before them, who was similarly obliged by the Holy Spirit to act as the Truth burned within him. Furthermore, Rogers expertly intertwines other historical incidents and individuals to suggest how John Rogers was spurred on in his endeavours.

Despite its deeply spiritual thread, ‘Faith and Fortitude’ also reveals the depth of depravity humans can mete out upon one another. Reminiscent of Charles Dickens account of a public hanging, Rogers uses shocking imagery to drag the reader with him through the horrifying and heinous spectacle of a man boiled to death, along with other grisly and depraved torture historically used to shock and subdue the masses. Nevertheless, Rogers convincingly transmits how despite the awful reality of this prospect, his namesake lived by the absolute belief that it is what God thinks that matters-not man, keeping to his truth and becoming more emboldened in his preaching rather than fleeing or renouncing his faith.

With touching sensitivity, Rogers creates a beautiful and poignant ending to his book, in the form of an imagined message sent from John Rogers to his beloved wife and mother of his 11 children, the last of which he set eyes on for the first and last time as he walked to face his eventual fate.

The legacy of John Rogers and William Tyndale proved to be an exceptional gift to the English people, with the King James Version (1611), being around 80% based on their original Thomas Matthew translation. Having access to Scripture in their native tongue was something that could never be removed once the people of England had tasted it, and in so doing, they became equipped, by reading, researching and meditating to challenge established false practices, and enjoy religious freedom.

A masterfully fleshed out and believable account of John Roger’s life, ‘Faith and Fortitude’ is unreservedly recommended for historians and theologians alike.

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