I have just finished the most marvellous book called The Revelations. Can’t think for the life of me where I saw it reviewed but it might have been the Church Times. Anyway I’ve read it for the last three days and it has been a while since I found a book that made me want to read and read until I finished it.
The story is of four university friends who start going to The Course (an Alpha-style movement) to find the meaning of life. Quickly they become enthralled with it and the charismatic priest who runs it. At times they do share some hesitations about the teachings of The Course (no sex before marriage, anti-gay) but manage to stifle it. When they are asked to become course leaders for a new intake of people, they are nervous but excited. However, behind the happy smiles and beautiful people lie dark secrets and desires. As The Course progresses things start to unravel and when it comes to the Weekend Retreat where the Holy Spirit is guaranteed to visit and all are expected to speak in tongues, the darkness takes over.
I loved the characters in this book and could empathise with their doubts. The author made it all seem so real and believable which is rather alarming really. But if anyone is suspicious of Alpha then this will confirm your worst fears. Of course, the author never calls it Alpha but it is so close that I’m sure there will be noises from the Evangelicals about this novel. He quite clearly is not a fan. It is quite a dark book but an interesting critique of the church.