In the Final Summit, 74-year-old time traveler, David Ponder, is charged by the angel Gabriel with heading up a summit of history's greatest figures. Mankind is headed for destruction, as well as a judgment from God. To escape this judgment, the summit must come up with an answer that shows God that people can improve things.
I enjoy science
fiction, and I also enjoy writers like C. S. Lewis, to whom the author
is compared. Thus, I hoped to enjoy the "Final Summit: A Quest to Find
One Principle That Will Save Humanity". I did enjoy the first chapter
or so, for the author set up some interesting characters and situations.
Unfortunately, after a few chapters, I lot interest on two levels: 1)
the writing and 2) the "spiritual" principles presented in the book.
far as the writing goes, it seems to be mainly a vehicle for the
author's message. Good fiction, especially good Biblically based
fiction, can and should deliver a message. However, we should be able
to glean that message from a well crafted plot, well rounded characters,
and a story that draws our attention. The Final Summit gave me the
feeling of sitting in a business meeting that wasn't going anywhere any
time quickly. That surprised me, as the characters, both real and
fictional, could have made for more interesting dialogue and action.
of action, the title leads one to expect a quest. There is a quest,
but it is a quest that involves a lot of speaking and very little
action. Moral and spiritual quests can be exciting to read about, but,
somehow, this one left me snoozing.
As far as the spiritual
principles are concerned, I didn't care for the strange mixture of
business-culture self-help and Biblical imagery. The book discusses 7
principles for life. The book culminates in a two-word prescription for
humankind's plight that is delivered by the summit council. These 7
principles and the one concluding principle are not bad in and of
themselves. In fact, in the right context, they could be sound advice.
If they were outlined in some other type of quest story, I don't think
it would bother me that the author crafted his story around them.
the author sets these principles in the framework of an impending
judgment from God, similar to that of Noah's day. Despite this, there
is no mention of Christ or a savior-figure. The concepts of faith,
mercy, obedience, and God's gift of true salvation are also strangely
absent. In light of this, the two word answer not only seems lame, it's
wrong -- dangerously wrong! It leaves the impression that the
destruction of sin can be healed by our own efforts and human wisdom.
Following that line of thinking will only lead us into more trouble!
True answers are found in Christ and in God's wisdom.