Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Search Committee

The Search Committee
Tim Owens
ISBN: 978-1414364452
January 2012/400 pages/$12.99

A mismatched team of seven hit the road in an Econoline church van on a mission to find a new pastor. They don't agree on much other than the stops at Hardee's for coffee and a biscuit. But they stick to the call, trying to slip undetected into worship services across the Southeast—all in hopes of stealing a preacher for their congregation.

Each member is wrestling to balance their own busy life and personal struggles. And they're trying to keep their issues to themselves. Forced to spend countless hours together, these very different personalities from different generations begin to bond. And their lives are profoundly changed as they love and support each other through the difficulties in each of their lives.

Tim Owens has a doctorate in environmental engineering and is the co-owner of an environmental engineering firm. He also holds three patents, is a Scoutmaster, and participated in disaster relief in Honduras and Mozambique as a water systems engineer. He currently resides in Summerville, South Carolina, with his wife and four children.

I wanted to really like this book and I stayed with it all the way through, but I was disappointed in it overall. I always hesitate to give less than positive reviews, as opinions are so subjective, but I won't rubber stamp my approval on a book that doesn't meet my standards. This novel has the potential to be really good with some additional editing. It has some great moments that folks who are long-time church goers will recognize all too well. Some will give a smile, while others might make you wince! Chapters vary between the committee's Sunday visits as a group to screen pastoral candidates and their individual lives and difficulties. It includes several of the sermons preached by those being considered, and some good points are made in those. I like that the committee members are real and flawed and dealing with a variety of very believable challenges and hurts. However, the resolutions fall short of what I expect from Christian fiction and are more in line with what I consider marginally "religious" books. To top it off, a portrayal of an incident in a neighboring church near the end of the book is a caricature that only perpetuates extreme denominational stereotypes and is disappointing to see in a Christian novel. I found it over the top and rather offensive. Tyndale's name has always been associated with some great books, but this one needs some work before I can recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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skoots1mom said...

your input is going to be very valuable to them, I'm sure

Diana Ferguson said...

Glad you tell it like you see it!!