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The Advocate by Randy Singer

Title:  The Advocate
Author:  Randy Singer
Pages:  467
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
This story is set mostly in Rome, with a short time spent in Jerusalem and Caesarea, beginning around A.D. 25.  The main character is Theophilus, and the story begins when he is 14.  Subsequent pages are divided into sections, telling about different people Theophilus meets and their impact on his life.  Within each section are chapter divisions.  This is historical fictional account.
Theophilus is a young Roman on his way to become an advocate or defender of truth.  He is sent to school to learn from great teachers of law and philosophy.  His first job after returning from school in Greece is as an assessor for Pontius Pilate.  While in Judea, Theophilus meets someone who will change his life.  He will never forget this encounter.  He later returns to Rome and begins his career as an advocate.  He takes on some very controversial cases, with potentially life-threatening consequences and makes a name for himself.  He comes to the attention of more than one emperor, but does what it takes to win his case.  But does he continue to defend and stand for the truth or will he take matters into his own hands to mete out justice as he sees it?
As Theophilus ages, he withdraws from active defending and opens a school to teach the art of advocacy.  He is called out of retirement by Pilate’s wife to defend a Roman who has been arrested for fomenting rebellion.  This man’s name is Paul.  As Theophilus spends more and more time with Paul, he is drawn closer and closer to God.  Theophilus nears 60 and is alive during the time of Nero and the great fire that destroyed Rome.  Nero looks for a scapegoat and finds several readily at hand.  Can Theophilus win his last and most important case…his own?
The story started out a little bit slow, but I kept with it and I am so thankful I did!  This for me was historical fiction come to life.  I thought the author did a great job of making me feel like I was right there, living alongside these characters.  The descriptive writing details were stellar.  Did I like reading about the graphic brutality of crucifixion?  Of course not, but it is truth.  How could anyone watch someone die in a horrible manner as a lunchtime intermission?  How callous can the heart grow?  However, even through this horrendous death, I saw the strength and hope of these early Christians.  It was emotionally difficult to read about these deaths, but it really brought home the suffering these people faced.   Would I or you be able to endure such torture for our Lord’s sake?  Christ suffered agony for me and you.  Think about what you would be willing to do for Him.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

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