Walking With God by Ginni Otto
Synopsis from back cover:
What if you could walk with Jesus, talk to Peter and witness the miracles that Christ performed over two thousand years ago? In “Walking with God” by Ginni Otto, that is exactly what young Rachel Rosenfold does. A heated argument with her father sends Rachel racing out into the street. A squeal of brakes, her mother’s horrified scream, and blinding headlights converge to begin a journey that finds Rachel literally “Walking with God” during the time of Christ’s ministry here on earth. The Gospels come alive as Rachel learns the power of grace, the miracles of faith, and the limitless love of out Lord. Readers of all ages will enjoy making this spiritual journey with Rachel and they, too, will find themselves “Walking with God”.
Wow, what a book. I didn’t quite know what to expect from Otto, but I really enjoyed this book. Meet Rachel, a Jewish girl who had a life-changing experience at university – she became a Christian and believed Jesus is the Messiah. She tries to explain this to her father, Abraham, who is a Rabbi, but all they do is fight. Abraham banishes her from the home, so she flees, right into the path of a car. When she wakes, she is in a field, two thousand years ago, right where Jesus is about to perform his first miracle. There she joins the group of followers who travel with Jesus, and stays with him all through his three-year ministry, learning from him and making friends with the disciples and the two Mary’s. Meanwhile, at home she is in a coma. Her mother Julia starts to ask the question, why did Rachel convert, and we see a friendship form between her and Rachel’s tutor Matthew. He becomes a close family friend as Julia, and Abraham study all the prophecies too see how Jesus fulfilled them. This book is the first in a series, where we are set to see Rachel fight for Jesus in the 21st century.
I really enjoyed this book. It is not a long book, only 208 pages, but I was gripped from the start. There is a lot of Biblical teaching, with the Gospel message explained throughout the story, and the events recorded in them replayed in this book. I also enjoyed how Otto explored what the Jews believe, and how she used the Bible to explain how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies. That is a very difficult topic and extremely brave, but I think she handled it perfectly.
There were a few bits of the story I wasn’t convinced about. Obviously the first is that no one is ever going to go back two thousand years, but that didn’t affect the story – that was what drew you in. I wasn’t convinced by the coma story, as she wasn’t really in a coma, just a deep sleep, but for three years. The other thing I was unsure about was some of the theology in the book. That said, the majority of it I agree with and this is only a minor point. I am sure others will not have the same disagreements as me.
I liked how Otto wrote. Like I said, I was hooked. I was drawn into the story. Even though it jumps about in time a bit, I was not confused, I actually liked that extra element. She was engaging and entertaining. I liked all the characters and connected with them all.
What I would say is, this is Christian fiction. If you don’t like being “preached at” or reading about the Christian faith, this book is not for you. However, I thought this was a good little book and would recommend it for both believers and those who don’t believe.