Sunday, August 17, 2008

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

Some may wonder what riven means - if that's the case... Miriam Webster defines riven as: 1 a: to wrench open or tear apart or to pieces : rend b: to split with force or violence 2 a: to divide into pieces : shatter b: fracture

Riven is an engaging novel that takes you deep into the personalities and life stories of two very different men who quickly become endeared to the reader despite the fact they both have issues that keep them, for quite some time, from fulfilling their God given purpose in life. One is a young man who grew up in a trailer park without much of what we consider necessities of life. The other is a godly man who has lost his zeal for life because of the lack of fruit he see from the ministries he has been a part of and because so many seem to take advantage of him. When the two finally meet God works miracles in both of their lives.

I have enjoyed reading Jerry’s fiction and when I read Jerry’s words, “This is the novel I have always wanted to write.” I couldn’t wait to find out what made this book unique. I appreciate that Riven shares a message of salvation and hope in Jesus for mankind regardless of who we are or what we have done because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The beauty is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He didn’t make us change before HIS sacrifice. Riven shares that redemption is available to all and that God can transform any of us.

Discussion Questions

Chapters 1-2 Excerpt

Rock of Ages (words by Augustus M. Toplady 1776)

Rock Of ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee
Let the water and the blood
From thy riven side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Save from wrath and make me pure

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill the law's demands
Could my zeal no respite know
Could my tears forever flow

All for sin could not atone
Thou must save and Thou alone
Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling

Naked, come to Thee for dress
Helpless, look to thee for grace
Foul, I to the fountain fly
Wash me Savior, or I die

While I draw this fleeting breath
When my eyelids close in death
When I sore to worlds unknown
See Thee on Thy judgement throne.

Rock of ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee.

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