Carl Kenney. Backslide.Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2010.

Backslide picks up where Kenney’s earlier novel, Preacha’ Man left off.  Simon Edwards is living in Dallas with his love, Jamaica, and teaching at a seminary.  Simon should be happy, but he feels uneasy with his decision to leave the ministry.  He knows that he is succeeding at the seminary, but he senses that this is not what God wants him to do.  When a phone call comes from Calvin, a former member of Simon’s church, asking Simon to come start a new church, Simon returns to Durham, North Carolina.

Simon throws himself into creating the new church, but success is not a sure thing.  Many of the same forces and individuals who fought Simon in his earlier ministry are still around, and Simon has to learn to move beyond bitterness and earlier definitions of success.  He also has to reconsider his feelings for some of the women in the church.  Simon is without Jamaica, who has stayed in Dallas for her work, and some of the tension in the book comes from Simon’s struggle with their relationship.

This is a slower-paced, more introspective book than Preacha’ Man.  As Simon reflects on his situation, he considers insights from modern theology as well as the Bible, adding depth to the story.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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