Cover image for Glimpses of truth
Glimpses of truth
Cavanaugh, Jack.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Zondervan Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
318 pages : map ; 22 cm.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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English peasants struggle to preserve the last remaining transcript of Wycliffe's pioneering translation of the New Testament into English in this first book of the Book of Books series.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

t's going on three years since Carrie Bender ended Miriam's Journal, a semiautobiographical series about a charming, godly, opinionated Amish woman named Miriam; her husband, Nate; and the tribulations and joys of their life on the farm. Thus, Bender's many fans will be happy to discover Birch Hollow Schoolmarm, the first of a series called Dora's Diary about Miriam and Nate's adopted daughter, Dora Kauffman. After kicking up her heels a bit in the sheer joy of youth, Dora leaves Pennsylvania to teach in a Minnesota Amish community, then works as a hired girl, and begins to date. Bender writes simply but wins you over with authenticity and guilelessness. Joseph Bentz's Song of Fire [BKL S 1 95] is one of the best Christian fantasies ever. His A Son Comes Home, however, is a realistic tale of a son's estrangement from his father and their halting attempts to reconcile when it becomes clear the father is dying. Young Chris LaRue, a college English instructor, leaves Indiana for Los Angeles when his older brother is killed in a car crash; and it becomes painfully clear that his father feels the wrong son died. In the mix also is Chris' old girlfriend, Beth, and his younger sister, Robin, who relates part of the story and has a crisis both in faith and in her romantic life. A subtle and beautifully written story about the inevitability of family ties and the reconciling power of God's love. With Glimpses of Truth, about the origins of the fourteenth-century Wycliffe translation of the Bible, Cavanaugh, a Baptist minister, embarks on a project to fictionalize the histories of various classic editions of the Bible in a series called the Book of Books. Sounds dry, but this first installment is lively, featuring a peasant, Thomas Torr, who has scholarly ambitions and becomes an aide to John Wycliffe. In good faith, as an emissary of Wycliffe's, he journeys to Rome, where there is an ingrained opposition to editions of the Bible in any language but Latin and where he encounters treachery. Thomas survives, but many do not, making Cavanaugh's point that the Bible handed down to contemporary readers came at great cost. Entertaining enough, but one wonders why Cavanaugh chose to focus upon a fictional character rather than Wycliffe, who is only a minor presence here. Higgs' Mixed Signals is a silly romance about a 32-year-old disc jockey, Belle O'Brien, lured from Chicago to a small-town Virginia station by an old friend and, she hopes, her true love. The romance fizzles, and she falls for her engineer, David Cahill, whose dark past stems from his teenage affair with the local banker's daughter. This woman moved to California rather than marry David, who comes from the wrong side of the tracks and has a reprobate father, but David hasn't missed a month of child support in the nine years of his ex-lover's absence. There's another love story between the station manager and Belle's landlady. Higgs has a winning, cheeky style, but events pile upon each other unconvincingly as David reconciles with his alcoholic father, meets his young son, and rescues Belle from a runaway balloon, veering Higgs' tale perilously near to self-parody. Though The Chairman trades on the tired device of amnesia, Kraus more than makes up for it in his portrait of Nathan McAllister, a quadriplegic ex-cop whose spine was severed in a drug raid. Slowly, Nathan tries to remember the details of what happened, at the center of which seems to be his wife, Abby. She was having an affair with Nathan's best friend when Nathan was shot, which gives agonizing dimension to both her guilt and Nathan's plight. Meanwhile, the title character, neurosurgery department chairman Ryan Hannah, is working on an experimental nerve regeneration therapy that may restore Nathan's use of his limbs. Dimensions of faith are nicely worked out in Nathan's questioning of why God could allow him to be crippled and whether other lessons await him, either in Dr. Hannah's therapy or in the ministrations of a faith healer. Kraus, a surgeon and one of the few writers anywhere doing credible medical thrillers, gets better and better. The popular Blackstock and LaHaye, founders of Concerned Christian Women for America, join in the quintessentially suburban Seasons Under Heaven. Four families who live around an upper-middle-class cul-de-sac come together when one boy, eight-year-old Joseph Dodd, needs a heart transplant. A tearjerker with strong female characterizations and believable mother-child relationships that is likely to be very popular. Lane weighs in yet again on evolution versus creationism in Tonopah. Tonopah is a desert north of Las Vegas, and a Christian high-school teacher, Melissa Lewis, stumbles into a restricted section of it called Quad 217. One of her geology students discovers a T. rex and what appears to be a human bone. Someone is awfully angry about this, and marines, generals, and freelance thugs descend upon the area and attempt to steal Melissa's prehistoric trophies. A snappy and sometimes amusing thriller if you can abide the creationism propaganda, which seems to be Lane's obsession. In 1929, four young girls write down their profoundest dreams and ambitions, put them in a blue bottle, and hide it in the attic of a fine old house in Stokes' The Blue Bottle Club. In 1994, Brendan Delaney, a TV reporter, covers the razing of the house, and a bulldozer operator brings her the bottle as a curiosity. Brendan finds one survivor of the Blue Bottle Club and from her memories assembles the stories of all four girls: an actress, a loyal wife, a social worker, and an artist. Stokes escapes a mechanical exercise here by making the tales of the four women a fine and ennobling instruction in faith for the jaded Brendan, and the result is a cut above most Christian fare. John Mort.

Library Journal Review

In the 1300s, it was considered an act of heresy to translate the Scriptures into a language ordinary people could understand. However, Thomas Torr is one who believes that it is vital for everybody to be able to read the Bible in order to profit fully from its teachings. Torr is therefore proud to help John Wycliffe translate the New Testament into English. Based on fact, this story combines elements of religious history with the qualities of a mainstream thriller, which makes for especially exciting reading. Cavanaugh (The Victors, Chariot Victor, 1998) is especially adept at blending a religious message subtly through the storyline, making its effect more profound. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.