Item description for Ancient Lights (The Watchman Diaries) by Ralph Curtin...
Overview A young Bedouin boy makes a stunning discovery after a powerful earthquake rips through the Dead Sea area. A primeval cave is revealed and 12 brilliant gems---the Urim and Thummim---come to light for the first time in thousands of years. Their discovery leads to a pitched battle between supernatural powers. Which side will win? The forces of God---or of Satan?
Publishers Description After an earthquake, a young Bedouin makes a monumental discovery in a cave by the Dead Sea--a sealed urn containing 12 multicolor gems: the Urim and Thummin, the ancient lights of Israel. Intrigue and sinister plots follow.
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Studio: Destiny Image Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.07" Weight: 1.16 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher Destiny Image Publishers
Series Watchman Diaries
Series Number 1
ISBN 0768421675 ISBN13 9780768421675
Availability 0 units.
More About Ralph Curtin
Doctor Curtin, originally from Long Island, New York, relocated in South Florida in 1987 to direct a large Christian ministry with its focus on Jewish evangelism. Within three years he resumed his ministerial studies, earning a B.S. and M.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. From there he went on to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Counseling from the South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where he presided as Academic Dean and professor of Biblical Studies. Dr. Curtin is presently an adjunct professor for Trinity College in Davie, FL. He and his helpmate of forty plus years, Kathy, presently share the ministry of serving the Lord in the pastorate.
Ralph Curtin currently resides in Sunrise, in the state of Florida.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ancient Lights (The Watchman Diaries)?
Reasonably good read Sep 21, 2007
I love historical novels, particularly Biblical ones. And even when that "history" is in the future, it can capture my attention -- especially when it is based on much fact.
As a result, I was enticed by "Ancient Lights", and what (to me) is a fairly new concept -- namely, the discovery of the Urim and Thummim of the Old Testament. The UT represented the voice of God -- i.e., a way in which God spoke to mankind, predominantly by answering questions posed to Him. (I'll stop there, before I make the UT sound like a Magic 8-Ball.)
Roughly the first half of the book held my attention quite well. The story was put together in an interesting manner, and there was a lot of potential for it to go in one of several different directions.
However, unexpectedly the story took a twist that moved it from focusing on a good, geniunely new story, and fell back into what is becoming a common motif among Christian fiction writers now -- the "end-times your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine" tale of world dominance, persecution, supernatural powers, etc. And that's unfortunate, because... well, it's been done. And overdone.
"Ancient Lights" had the potential to be different, to be unique. Sure, there's a bit of the Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind) in the writing, as there are strong shades of Frank Peretti. But I felt that it "sold out" to the army of "Left Behind" lemmings -- those who aren't satisfied with 12- and 14-volume tomes.
The story did keep me enticed. In addition to the intrigue created by the basic plot line, there was the standard romance, the "hero out of nowhere", even some occasional dry humor. But it was all pervaded by a feeling that I can't exactly put into words -- simply that there was no depth to it.
I'm not sure why I felt that way, but it stayed with me through the entire book. Perhaps it was the lack of detail. While I'm not a big fan of the "Left Behind" series (and I went to school with Jerry Jenkins, and love his writing), reading those books brings a richness of depth and detail -- like reading (and I hate to use this analogy, simply because everyone else does) a Tom Clancy novel. No one does it better than Clancy -- and it's that kind of detail that draws me into a story.
"Ancient Lights" went along "telling a story"... but never drew me in. It was a fine story; but through it all, I was always aware that I was sitting in my chair, reading a story. It was not immersive, as other stories I've read have been. Those are the "you are there" kind, where you temporarily forget what's going on around you; you can hear the sounds, smell the smells, feel the atmosphere. It didn't happen for me in this book.
And I can't really explain why; I've never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is about one story or another that will (or won't) grab me, draw me in, and immerse me in the drama. Perhaps part of it is whether the scenes, people, and story are "stereotypical" or not -- whether they're caricatured. It's in those stories where you can basically predict exactly what's going to happen, and how -- because they're artificial, they're superficial.
Again, I'll repeat that this is a great story; don't misunderstand me. It provided me with a few evenings of a good read. It just stayed outside the boundary of being truly immersive, detailed, "real".
While I've been a student of eschatology for over 35 years, I have to give credit to the author for doing a lot of research. Despite my background of reading on this subject, I still learned a lot about some of the events and items portrayed. So there's a lot to be garnered here. And for that alone, I almost gave it a 4-star rating. And I'm sure that there will be others -- many others, hopefully -- who find it more fitting, and rate it higher.
Bottom line: Would I read another novel by the author? Probably. Although I would look much more carefully through the book -- skimming through it first -- before purchasing it. But it's a good read, especially for those who haven't yet been completely mind-numbed by the overabundance of "end-times" novels lately.
What a read! May 29, 2003
What a read! I so enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner. The research was extensive and thorough. I am an avid reader of biblical novels and this is one of the best I've read. I can't wait for the next one.
Ancient Lights: the Watchman Diaries May 29, 2003
When is the sequel coming out! Although this is not Ralph's first novel or non-fiction writing, it is by far his best! Compared to the Left Behind Series, a series more designed for readers who are familiar with Eschatology, Ancient Lights takes the reader from a place of perhaps knowing very little about the Bible, Eschatology and the study of end times to a place of searching the Bible to learn more. Ancient Lights held my interest from beginning to end...in fact, I did not want it to end, and can't wait for the sequel! A MUST READ!
Ancient Lights May 19, 2003
I was given this book as a gift as it is written by a local pastor. I was pleasantly surprised at the compelling story written with extensive knowledge of eschatology, biblical archaeology as well as current day Israel. This book reads like a Tom Clancy novel as I was left wondering how the author could possibly have such detailed knowledge. I highly recommend this book!
Ancient Lights May 13, 2003
This is a fast moving, provoking story with suspense, thrilling adventure and truth. I was left wanting more.