Monday, January 08, 2007
Robert Whitlow's latest novel: Mountain Top
Mike Andrews pastors a small, but growing church in rural North Carolina. Previously a defense attorney, Mike heeds the call of God to enter the pastorate. So when Sam Miller contacts Mike about defending him in a criminal case, Mike resists. Especially when he finds out that Sam claims God told him in a dream that Mike would be his lawyer.
Although Sam seems a bit nutty, he’s also genuine, and Mike agrees to take the case, at least temporarily. It seems no amount of persuading can convince Sam that Mike no longer practices law. As the facts add up, Mike stumbles upon a crime much more serious than the one Sam is accused of, and it involves some big names in the town.
Will Mike be able to prove Sam’s innocence while exposing the ones who framed his client?
Whitlow succeeds in making the reader care about his characters, and the setting is drawn with detail and obvious personal knowledge. I live in North Carolina as well, and I can picture the rolling country and quaint little churches (and their sometimes cruel politics) and almost taste the home-grown meals.
I love a supernatural element to novels, so it follows that I enjoyed this book. As for the legal part, it was very interesting, but I’ll stop there for fear of revealing too much.
One of the main themes I came away with is that God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His purposes. We must look for opportunities to serve God and then act on them when we see them. God can use the most unlikely vessel for His glory, but it must be available for use.
This novel comes highly recommended. Visit the author's website to find out more about his books here.
1. How did you get the idea for Mountain Top?
One of my goals in writing the story was to encourage people who are in the ministry and lay people as well. I also wanted to explore in detail the godly influence of a modern day prophet.
2. You mention in the acknowledgements that you never would have become a novelist if your wife hadn't had a "divine dream". Have you or anyone else you know had visions such as the ones described in the book?
Yes, we moved to NC because my wife had a dream in which she saw the house we’re now living in. We’ve both had a few significant dreams, but not as frequently as Sam Miller.
3. I love the way you portrayed Mike, lawyer turned preacher, as a regular guy with shortcomings, pride, anger, etc. Many times people put ministers on pedestals and expect way too much from them. Would you like to elaborate?
One of the problems with the way we do church is putting too much expectation and demand on a single person. All Christians are ministers of the Gospel. We’re all in the process of transformation into Christ-likeness. We all have the opportunity to let our light shine.
4. Discuss what you believe about the way God uses people and perhaps their dreams or visions to accomplish his purposes.
God communicates with us because he is a Father who relates to the children he loves. This can take as many forms as God determines (not adding to Scripture, which is the only source of doctrine, but in enabling us to walk with him). Dreams and visions are one means.
5. Why do you hint at the supernatural in your novels?
The Christian life is, by definition, supernatural. Otherwise, it’s relegated to a system of rules and principles without power. In all my books I want to portray God as real – a God who interacts with people across the whole scope of life.
For more information on Robert Whitlow's book-turned-movie, The List, visit The List-The Movie.