Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Dysfunctionality -- Texas Size !

The Final Book of the Defiance Trilogy

A review of

Mary DeMuth Life in Defiance (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010)
356 pp $14.99 ISBN 978-0-310-27838-2

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

A lof of things have changed during my lifetime, but one thing I think is still the same: the boast by Texans that they have the biggest of everything. Well, now, they could make a good case for producing the novel with the most dysfunctionality in it by pointing to the book under review here! The story is set in a rural Texas town and is authored by Texan Mary DeMuth who has been honing her authorial skills in portraying dysfunctionality to the max in her Defiance, Texas trilogy.

It would appear that the title of the final volume, Life in Defiance, has a double meaning. This is noted by one of the characters who says that the town should not call itself Defiance, since this appears to mean "defiance of God". Rather, it should change its name to "Compliance", meaning compliance with God". At any rate, it is clear that the reason for the dysfunctionality is defiance of the will of God. In short, life in defiance of God leads to dysfunctionality,which can only be overcome by beginning to life a life in compliance with God.

The trilogy opens with the portayal of the beautiful relationship between two young people -- Jed Pepper and Daisy Chance -- and the tragedy of Daisy's disappearance and murder. Volume two focusses on the dysfunctionality of Daisy's mother, Emory Chance, and the beginning of her redemption by God using several very unlikely persons! The final volume focusses on Jed's mother, Ouisie Pepper. God's work is also seen here but the conclusion is not like that which is found in most christian fiction. I can't say any more than that without giving away the story.

Any reader who may be overwhelmed at times with the disgusting lives being portrayed would do well to keep in mind this observation made by Chuck Colson: "Mary DeMuth has a true gift for showing how God's light can penetrate even the darkest of situations."

If you are looking for well written christian fiction which is both realistic in depicting the horrors to which sin can lead as well as the power of God to rescue the perpetrator, then Mary DeMuth's Defiance trilogy should be put onto your list.


Post a Comment

<< Home