Review of "The Twelfth Imam" by Joel Rosenberg

12thImamThis book is Rosenberg’s first in the David Shirazi series. When I determined earlier this month to add more fiction into my reading diet, this book was on my short list. I had read it once before when it was first released, but looked forward to a re-read so that I could continue through the series.

Rosenberg is a master of weaving current headlines and events within the framework of his fiction. The end result is a highly believable spy novel. Rosenberg also laces this story with Islam eschatology concerning the arrival of the Twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, along with elements of Biblical eschatology. In doing so, Rosenberg creates a Christian thriller that’s ripped from the headlines yet laced with end-times suspense.

For what it’s worth, I am by no means an expert in Islam, however, I did take an undergraduate class that included a look into the eschatology of those who believe in the coming of the Twelfth Imam and this book seems right on the money. Rosenberg certainly has a handle on his topic. I’ll reserve my judgment of Rosenberg’s Biblical theology for after I’ve read deeper into the series (which I believe is a trilogy).

This book is highly entertaining and well-written. The characters are believable, flawed, and life-like (unlike the wooden characters that seem to permeate much Christian fiction). I think it can be enjoyed by believers and unbelievers alike. Those who give it lower ratings seem to be hostile to the Gospel of Christ in general.

I am looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

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