Patmos by C. Baxter Kruger
Patmos by C. Baxter Kruger is a fanciful tale of a meeting between Aidan and the Apostle John. The writing style is solid, conversational, and helps to make an easy read. The tales that are told during the imaginary conversation between Aidan and John draw the reader in. Except for a lull portion in the middle of the adventure, the relationship between these two people drive the plot along.
The best part of this book is the fact that Kruger has a high view of the Holy Spirit. How he describes the work of the Holy Spirit is impressive. God can still work amazing miracles through the Third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is able to translate through time and dialects to help people communicate. Kruger takes what he interprets was the experience in Acts 2 and applies it the gift of tongues. This is what allows Aidan and the Apostle John to communicate.
Instead of Aidan speaking Greek and Aramaic, the Apostle John speaks American English with a Southern accent. He explains that the Holy Spirit doesn’t translate the meaning of such words as “dude” and “bless your heart.” It is humorous to read the Apostle John speak like a Southerner, especially since he notes that he is from Southern Galilee. The humor does helps move the story along between the action scenes when the two are being chased by Roman soldiers.
The primary discussion is about the importance of the Nicene Creed and the union between God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. At first, this union is described in a relationship between Jesus and His followers. For example, the Apostle John explains about how “the Word dwelt among us” or “in us.” Later, the Apostle John reflects on the way in which the Trinity exists throughout the Old Testament. John explains how God did not abandon Jesus on the cross. Even though Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1, He was intending His audience to know the entire psalm. The psalm prophecies the cross event and the fact that God would not abandon Jesus (Psalm 22:24).My major difficulty with this book is that Kruger uses poetic license with the Biblical text. At times, it is helpful. For example, in Appendix, we read a paraphrase by Aidan of John’s Prologue (John 1). At the same time, this poetic license allows Kruger to present ideas which are Biblically false. His Apostle John presents the Holy Spirit as a woman, when the real Apostle John wrote that the Holy Spirit is male (John 14:17 John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7-15).
My other main concern is that this story presents the fanciful form of communication via time-travel. Again, instead of relying on the Biblical text, Kruger presents the idea that Holy Spirit can transport you through time. If this were true, we should have people who would claim this ability together. Still, the book is an interesting read, and along the way, Kruger will challenge your beliefs about Scripture. Kruger uses many arguments from the original Greek and Hebrew in the Biblical texts. As a result, some of these conversations may be hard to understand of the common Christian.
In summary, Patmos is a great work of fiction that may challenge some of your theological assumptions. Like the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, one should use the novel to interpret the Bible. In the end, it is a theologians’s time-travel story – one in which the reader can enjoy, but take the theological discussions with a grain of salt.
Kruger maintains a website where you can learn more about this book as well as other books he has written.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.