Part III of Follet’s Kingsbridge Trilogy, A Column of Fire, is just as fascinating as his others.
I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned before the wonderful historical fiction writing of Ken Follet. I have read the Century Trilogy, which includes Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, and Edge of Eternity. Equally as engaging is the Kingsbridge Trilogy, which includes Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and now A Column of Fire.
Mr. Follett is a gifted storyteller who fills his very lengthy novels with love, drama, intrigue, family, crime and every other nuance of everyday life all tossed together with the Truth of the time period.
“In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. “
A Column of Fire takes place during the 16th and 17th century in and around Europe. The story involves the monarchies of Spain, France, and England, the common folk of these countries. The book is brimming with brutal details of the religious conflicts of the Inquisition, the secrecy, and manipulation of politicians, as well as the minute details of everyday life. As with his other novels, Follett mixes truth with fiction to weave quite an entertaining tale.
4 Etymons for Column of Fire!
What struck me the most while listening to this book is that time passes and yet, things just don’t change.
In the late 1600’s, people were killing each other by very brutal means because of their religion. Catholics were hanging Protestants. Protestants were beheading Catholics. All because they couldn’t agree on religion.
And funny thing, religion was completely intertwined with politics. Queen Elizabeth was a proponent of Protestantism. Mary, Queen of Scots, was banished to Scotland because she was a Catholic. King Phillippe was such a die-hard Catholic that he was intent on invading France and England to convert the people. Crazy, right? These people supposedly all believed in Jesus Christ!
Was it truly a question of belief? Or was it a question of tolerance? Truthfully, I think it was and is a bit of both.
Let me be clear – I am a Christian and I would really like it if you believed in Jesus too. I believe that Jesus followers are going to heaven and I want you to come along. I might disagree with you about the theology of sprinkling versus dunking for baptism but I promise not to kill you.I am a Christian and I would really like it if you believed in Jesus too. I believe that Jesus… Click To Tweet
As I read Column of Fire I just kept thinking about the world we live in today. How are things any different? Religion and politics are comingled even in the land of church vs. state.
And the hatred…
Christians being killed for believing in Jesus. Muslims being killed for their belief in Allah. People being killed for their unbelief. Politicians being lambasted for a single word gone wrong, a simple mistake or misstep.
People feel very strongly about their own moral compass. Your belief system, your faith, your core values, they define you and you should feel strongly about that.
However, if we want to be Christlike, shouldn’t we love people even if they don’t agree with us? Shouldn’t we accept that their beliefs are equally as strong as our own? Shouldn’t we be able to live in harmony with others?
Queue floating flowers and “Free to Be” music! Oops. I digress.
The more things change… The more they stay the same.
We live in a very broken world. And that won’t ever change until Jesus returns and makes it right.
We live in a very broken world. And that won’t ever change until Jesus returns and makes it right. Click To Tweet
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