Tag Archives: Old Testament

A Voice Within the Flame Review and GIVEAWAY!

5CP9u5FU

About the Book

pgZMXZbM

Book: A Voice within the Flame

Author: Henry O. Arnold

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release Date: December 1, 2020

A son of the vow…a voice for a nation

For many long years, Hannah prayed for a son; a son finally granted to her only when she promised him back to God. Samuel, son of the vow, grows up in the Tabernacle, his childhood spent in the company of priests and Levites, in service to a God who was always silent. Samuel watches in dismay as the sons of the High Priest flaunt their wicked behavior, yet he knows that Yahweh will eventually have a reckoning. It is not until he hears a Voice call to him from within the flames of the altar that he realizes he has a part to play in this drama.

This young man hears another voice from a maiden who captures his heart, and he begins to dream of a future beyond the confines of the Tabernacle. But when Israel’s enemies threaten to destroy his world, it appears as though everything Samuel ever held dear may come tumbling down around him.

Not even a great prophet, whose words never fall to the ground, can keep Israel from crying out for a king. The Lord calls upon Samuel to guide the nation and her new king through the years of turmoil they must face.

In this tale of triumph and scorn, deepest love and burning rivalries, the new epoch is given a voice…and it is a Song of Prophets and Kings.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

QDQZPZB4

Henry O. Arnold has co-authored a work of fiction, Hometown Favorite, with Bill Barton, and nonfiction, KABUL24, with Ben Pearson. He also co-wrote and produced with Steve Taylor (director) and Ben Pearson the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith, the screenplay for the authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God’s Ambassador, and the documentary film KABUL24, based on the book which is the story of western and Afghani hostages held captive by the Taliban for 105 days. He lives on a farm in Tennessee with his lovely wife Kay. They have two beautiful daughters married to two handsome men with three above-average grandchildren. For more information please visit: www.henryoarnold.com

More from Henry

So many people have asked me why I became a writer. I usually respond with a one-word answer: unemployment. I know, not very inspirational or romantic, but it was a reality-based choice. I had (and still am) been a professional actor for about ten years. Received a lot of diplomas affirming my professional choice and gotten a lot of gigs that convinced me that I was employable. Then I hit a dry-spell. The theatre company I had helped to found went belly-up. I also had recently gotten married. So I was feeling the mixture of joy and dejection at the same time. It was then that I chose to begin writing a series of one-man shows on biblical characters. I was able to combine my passion for the theatre and my love of Scripture in one artistic form.

After the golden age of theatre in the Greek and Roman times, the theatre went dark, very dark as in Dark Ages, and for centuries it was thus. But it was the church that brought the theatre back to life by staging passion plays on biblical subjects. Since most people could not read at the time, it was a great way to tell the folks some Bible stories. It was my desire to do the same thing with my one-man shows. The third of my one-man plays was on the character of King David. I wrote it while shooting a film. For an actor in a film there is a lot of “hurry up and wait.” So I used my “wait” time to write. Within a year I was showcasing the play to some select audiences before I begin to get some regular jobs out of this show and the two others I had previously written.

Then I decided to write what I thought would be a trilogy of the first three kings of Israel. These would be full-length plays for a multiple cast. The first installment was entitled “The Mighty Have Fallen,” and the focus was on King Saul. My father was the head of the theatre department at a university, and he was kind enough to produce and direct the show with his students. It was a success, and after an extensive rewrite, I sent a copy to Academy Award winner, F. Murray Abraham, thinking he would be the perfect King Saul. He wrote a terse and unambiguous response, “Not my cup of tea, but thanks.”

I knew then that my artistic dream might be more of an uphill climb than I had anticipated, and I settled into scheduling the one-man shows around all the other theatre and film work I was doing. But the dream of writing an historical fiction series on the first three kings and the first three major prophets of Israel never left me. I called the series, A Song of Prophets and Kings, and it simmered on the back-burner until about five years ago when I sat down in earnest and began to write a first draft of what has now become A Voice Within the Flame. It was totally liberating to write this first volume in the form of a novel. I did not have to worry about budgets or too many characters or too many big scenes. I could just tell a story.

It took a long to find the right home for this story, but I am excited to welcome into the literary landscape my dream of presenting the first installment of my historical fiction series to all readers who love the drama found in these great biblical stories.

My Review

Luke 10:24 “For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

As I’ve mentioned before, Biblical fiction is generally a hit-or-miss genre, particularly when the main subject is an actual Biblical figure or event as opposed to a fictional character interacting with or living alongside people from the Bible, and even more so if the focus is on the Old Testament. Remaining true to the inerrant Word of God while creating a narrative of what life was like—the minutiae—before, during, and after the details that we read in the Bible requires research, prayer, and inspiration. It is not an easy task, and there are some readers who shy away from this category for various understandable reasons. As a result, it can be difficult to find books that explore the ancient Biblical world without superimposing modernity onto it in the form of customs, ideas, and interpretations. Some of the best authors in the genre include Tessa Afshar, Mesu Andrews, Connilyn Cossette, Brennan McPherson, and now, Henry Arnold.

A previously-unknown-to-me author, Henry Arnold has just released A Voice Within the Flame, book one of The Song of Prophets and Kings series. From the beautiful front cover that harkens back to Moses’ encounter with Yahweh in the burning bush and subtly alludes to the Mosaic Law still in place during this time period to the narrative itself, this book draws readers in immediately. I will admit that I had some apprehension at first, wondering if it would be boring or would diverge too much from the Biblical account. However, I can honestly say that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop! I did occasionally cross-reference a few things with the Bible, but more for the purpose of refreshing my memory or learning more than for fact-checking. What I found most intriguing about this book is the background of Samuel; as with any extra-Biblical text, it is not necessarily exactly how each event happened or how each person felt, but I think that Arnold does well in using the Bible to inform his story and give readers a reasonable idea of the life of Samuel.

One of the aspects of Biblical fiction that I love the most is the humanity that it brings to the people of the Bible. For seasoned Christians especially, we can become so familiar with the stories of the Word that we rarely pause to think about how these people felt in the situations they faced or in day-to-day living. A Voice Within the Flame offers a possible account of how the events unfolded. Named Samuel, meaning “God has heard”, the miracle-baby changes the lives of not only his own family forever, but Israel itself. As heart-wrenching as it is to read about Hannah giving Samuel back to God around age 4 to learn and to serve in the Tabernacle, it is even more heart-warming to view it all from the perspective of history and to see (at least in part) that God was and always will be in control. As Hannah marvels at Samuel’s birth, “There had been no guarantee of this blessing, only the hope, and now they touched with their hands this visible, human soul of Yahweh’s favor.”  Eli, the High Priest who teaches Samuel, also recognizes something special about him. “This was their son, eleven years in the making, Yahweh’s gift to them…a gift the Almighty would reclaim.

As with so much of the Bible, a great deal of it is being fulfilled before our eyes, and the same can be said in Samuel’s case. The High Priest Eli teaches his students, Samuel among them, the foreshadowing of persecution and trials ahead. He warns them about the Benjamites, referencing the story of the Levite and his concubines from Judges 19-21 and proclaiming that “slaughter begets slaughter.” In a prescient lesson regarding this serious issue, he remarks that “To serve the people of Israel, you must know the people of Israel. Know our dark hearts and corrupted minds. Know that we are broken and fearful. Know that the longer Yahweh is kept at a distance the more craven we become.” How sadly yet starkly true this is for us today, as we near the end of 2020! Later in Samuel’s story, he follows in Eli’s footsteps to some degree, as his sons also rebel against Yahweh. Samuel, however, is upright, the last of the judges and a man who listened to and followed God, establishing the monarchy of Israel by anointing Saul, a Benjamite. That did not work out well for Saul, in the end, and eventually the shepherd boy David becomes king, in the patrilineage of Jesus Himself.

An epic story of the necessity of putting God first, A Voice Within the Flame separates the main sections of Samuel’s story into four parts and proves that God is always working behind the scenes and always in control, despite outward appearances.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, December 16

Through the Fire Blogs, December 17

Mary Hake, December 17

Texas Book-aholic, December 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 19

Inklings and notions, December 20

For Him and My Family, December 21

deb’s Book Review, December 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 23

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 24 (Author Interview)

Our Whiskey Lullaby, December 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 25

Artistic Nobody, December 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 29

Giveaway

6pFLpOnU

To celebrate his tour, Henry is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10500/a-voice-within-the-flame-celebration-tour-giveaway

Insights on the Book of Daniel Review and GIVEAWAY!

yRL3aV0w

About the Book

3WOPqOGw

Book: Insights on the Book of Daniel

Author: Dr. Alan B. Stringfellow

Genre: RELIGION / Biblical Studies/Old Testament/Prophet

Release Date: December 1, 2020

For more than four decades, Alan Stringfellow’s Bible studies have brought greater insight into God’s Word to thousands of believers. Now, the author of Through the Bible in One Year and Great Characters of the Bible leads readers on a 12-lesson, verse-by-verse study of the book of Daniel. Stringfellow’s in-depth teaching will bring clarity and understanding to one of the most misunderstood books in Scripture. With this study, readers will learn…

  • How to identify the major themes
  • How to memorize key verses
  • How to recognize God’s central message
  • An overview of various interpretations of the book’s imagery
  • The role Daniel’s prophesies play in the entire biblical story

By embarking on this journey, believers will discover the influence that Daniel had on the life and literature of the Jewish people throughout the biblical period and all the way to the writers of the New Testament, including Jesus Christ Himself, who often quoted from it. But nowhere is that influence seen as thoroughly as in the writings of the apostle John and parallels that exist with the book of Revelation. As in John’s prophetic work, the book of Daniel describes in beautiful and marvelous language the glorious coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Like John, Daniel was sure and certain about the final triumph of the kingdom of God.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

NTM3RMrg

Dr. Alan B. Stringfellow (1922-1993), a Bible teacher and minister of the gospel for more than four decades, specialized in Christian education. Long concerned with the struggle most people have in understanding the Bible, he set out to write a study course that would bring believers more knowledge and a greater appreciation of God’s Word. He wrote Through the Bible in One Year, Great Truths of the Bible, and Great Characters in the Bible for laymen, to be taught by laymen. His latest studies include Insights on the Book of Revelation and Insights on the Book of Isaiah. Dr. Stringfellow trained at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, after which he served at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth; First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Florida; First Baptist Church of Fresno, California; and First Baptist Church of Van Nuys, California.

More about Dr. Alan

  • Through the Bible in One Year has sold more than 30,000 copies
  • Stringfellow’s solid Bible-based theology crosses all denominational and theological lines
  • Book of Daniel and its prophetic tone of the coming of the Messiah and the ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God sparks great interest in believers
  • Completes a trio of studies along with Insights on the Book of Revelation and Insights on the Book of Isaiah
  • Can be utilized for individual or group study

My Review

A detailed exegesis, Insights on the Book of Daniel by the late Dr. Alan Stringfellow delves into the apocalyptic nature of Daniel and how it compares to and is irrevocably linked with the book of Revelation. There are a plethora of details, both historic and Biblical, to glean from this text, which I would advise prefacing with a complete reading of both Daniel and Revelation in the Bible itself. Doing so will provide the familiarity, whether new or refreshed, necessary to fully engage in this study and allow the reader to critically analyze Dr. Stringfellow’s interpretation. While I do not agree with all of his points or conclusions, I did learn new information about the history of the ancient world and about some of the connections between Scripture verses.

Most fascinating to me, and something that I never grow tired of learning about, is how Scripture is supernaturally interweaved, proving its divine authorship by God despite being written by multiple human men over the course of centuries. Stringfellow makes this very apparent in his comparison between the books of Daniel and Revelation. In regard to Daniel, the vision of the end times given to him in chapter twelve is sealed up, to be unsealed in Revelation. Both Daniel and John receive similar visions while in exile that reveal what will come to be during the end times, and both are “beloved” by the Lord.

In Stringfellow’s view, the times of the Gentiles refers to a period beginning with God’s appointment of Nebuchadnezzar, a Gentile, in place of the Israelite kings and ending when Israel becomes “the head of the nations” once again, while the fullness of the Gentiles, he claims, will occur when those Gentiles whom the Holy Spirit has called out will be gathered with the rest of the church in the Rapture. He remarks that Daniel was a unique prophet because rather than declaring the Word of God, he was to “record what was revealed to him through visions.” I also find the comparison of the similarities between Daniel and the lion’s den and Jesus’s resurrection very interesting, especially as they are both well-known events but not necessarily considered side-by-side.

Some of Stringfellow’s interpretation becomes clearly recognizable as an issue that has grown increasingly prevalent now: “To weld the power together in a common faith is the finest way to make them one, however diversified they may be otherwise.” He goes on to explain the system of Babylonialism, a way of living and ruling that eradicates God and seeks an (albeit impossible) paradise without Him. If that is not an apt description of society and the world today, I don’t know what is!

With an outline format, meaning plenty of lists and sub-lists, Insights on the Book of Daniel is an informative, enlightening read for those interested in apocalyptic literature of the Bible, or for anyone seeking a different perspective to provoke thought or discussion. Because this book is set up to be a Bible study, the end of each chapter contains a section for contemplation: “How Much Do You Remember?” questions; “Your Assignment for Next Week”; and “Lesson Notes” with blank lines ready to be filled. Because these can be difficult to work with on a tablet or computer, I personally would recommend the paperback should you choose to purchase it; as of the time of this writing, the price for both the Kindle and paperback formats are nearly the same.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 4

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

For the Love of Literature, December 6

Texas Book-aholic, December 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 8

For Him and My Family, December 9

Simple Harvest Reads, December 10 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, December 10

Artistic Nobody, December 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 13

Godly Book Reviews, December 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 16

Inklings and notions, December 17

Captive Dreams Window, December 17

Giveaway

6vfCMstg

To celebrate their tour, Whitaker House is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10456/insights-on-the-book-of-daniel-celebration-tour-giveaway