DISCLAIMER: This book was given to me as a volunteer reader/reviewer for SpeakEasy. While I am not paid for this review, I also did not pay for the book. The reviews and thoughts are my own.
HOMETOWN PROPHET by Jeff Fulmer (c) 2010 Independently published by the author. ISBN 13:978-1463632311.
This work of fiction is about Peter, a 31-year-old recovering Christian fundamentalist, who who moves back into his childhood home after failing to be successful in his initial years of his adult career. Among other questions, he wrestles with the existence of God and his own purpose in life. During one of these soul-searching sessions, he experiences a slam-dunk experience of God’s Love and Presence, and that Presence forever changes Peter. He becomes a “prophet” — one of God’s own timing and choosing.
The book takes you on Peter’s journey of growth, change, romance and obedience. He struggles with where he fits in the niches of the evangelical Christianity of his upbringing. Even more difficult to process are his sudden visions and dreams, which compels him to speak into others’ lives. Without giving away the plot, there are consequences to the prophetic visions which he chooses to share.
The novel did have some limitations that will limit its audience and interest. It is written with evangelical jargon and references to the Bible throughout the text. Some of the Christian cliches were bothersome, most notably, Peter referring to his hometown as “the buckle on the Bible belt.” Descriptions of Christian subculture events were also self-limiting (i.e., the descriptions of churches, music and “worship” services.) While I get the point that Fulmer is attempting to bring a former fundamentalist’s view about the failings of the evangelical subculture to the forefront, it made for slightly boring reading.
Theologically, there wasn’t much to quibble with except for the limited use of the role of “prophet” in the Church. Were one to look at the broader use of a prophet in Scripture, there would be several aspects missing. Fulmer makes a prophet into a teller-of-the-future, which is, in a limited sense, true. But other roles of prophetic utterance (calling the Church to obedience, preaching and teaching God’s Laws, and proclaiming the future work of God) are given less emphasis.
The book, being independently published, could use a good editor to make the plot line, conversation, and descriptive passages stronger. Fulmer has a good message. I’d like to see him find a better editor and make this book sing.
RATING: Out of 5 stars, I’d give it a 3. Not awful. Not grand. A good “beach read”.