Two Images of God

Quest

Christian - Thriller
316 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2018
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Author Biography

Brian Sheets is an award winning author with books spanning several genres. In writing the Two Images of God series, he relied on his experience as a veteran and as a student of religious literature. His composition style makes widespread use of everyday language as opposed to academic-eze, thus increasing reader enjoyment and the pace at which the books can be read.

“In viewing events in the Middle East during the past 25 years, the question arose for me “Why can’t we all get along?” Wars in the past had well-defined moral goals of right over wrong or freedom over tyranny. Now, the struggle appears to center around religious doctrine that has been redefined to achieve an end-goal for which there will only be losers. I wanted to write a book that provided a platform for people to explore this question along with me.”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

I started the series Two Images of God by Brian P Sheets with the second book. And, thrilled by the depth of the story, I decided to pick up the first to read as well. Quest is the introduction to the series, and it is a stunning introduction. I read it straight through the night, intrigued by the author’s skill and mastery of the conflict that has been at the center of violence across different times and places in human history.

This book looks at the root cause of religious conflict, which, unfortunately permeates different areas of life in communities and in nations. Readers meet a group of very interesting characters, most of them learned professionals who desire only one thing — to focus their energies in building a better world, characterized by religious tolerance and values of dialogue. They are about to make history and present a different image of God than what we know today. But this group is suddenly challenged by terrorist groups that see them as a threat to their fundamental beliefs.

This book features a great conflict, handled by a skilled writer and a great storyteller, and I marvelled at the author's narrative skills. One of the things that kept me reading is the author’s boldness in creating a style of his own and moving from the conventions that seem to govern mainstream thrillers. At times, one gets the feeling that the writing is more of telling than showing, but the author’s gift for descriptive prose is impeccable and irresistible, and the social and cultural commentaries enrich the story and make it a deeply satisfying read. Two Images of God: Quest is fast-paced, sometimes troubling, and filled with moments that force the reader to ask the question: Do we really have to fight each other in the name of God?

Christian Sia

Two Images of God: Quest by Brian P Sheets is a unique kind of thriller that explores religious themes and focuses on the old-age conflict between Christianity and Islam. In this thrilling opening to the Two Images of God series, the author creates a very powerful community composed of adherents of different religions — Christians and Muslims — who have decided to put aside their religious differences and focus only on what unites them. At the opening of the story, the reader becomes witness to what the museum director calls history in the making. But this pursuit of peaceful co-existence and mutual tolerance is threatened by a radical force that will stop at nothing to see their own aims fulfilled. How long can this group stay together?

Brian P Sheets explores very pertinent and relevant themes in this first book in the series, topics that should be of real concern to anyone who cares about the health of our society. The reader is left in no doubt that the work is well-researched and that the author has a deep understanding of the religious differences that have been behind the many calamities and wars that humankind has kindled. The question is: can Christians and Muslims unite to fight the fanaticism that creates the chaos in the world? Two Images of God: Quest is written in a powerful, arresting narrative voice and the author combines compelling dialogues with vivid descriptions to create scenes that are as absorbing as they are interesting. I couldn’t put this book down and can’t wait to see its vision come true. Very engaging and inspirational!

Charles Remington

In the first part of Two Images of God: Quest, Brian P. Sheets assembles the large cast of characters that will comprise the core of the narrative. They include a pair of experienced archaeologists who are introduced while on a dig in the port of Alexandria where they uncover the huge reflecting lens from the historical Pharos Lighthouse, and two professors, one Sunni, one Shia, who teach at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, along with a Catholic monk and his good friend, the Prioress of a nearby convent. We are then introduced to two doctors working in emergency medicine in Egypt and Turkey and their nursing assistants, two young but very successful American archaeologists, and a group from the Centre for Women’s Studies at the University of Jordan. With the various protagonists assembled, we then learn more about an important archaeological discovery to the north of Tel Aviv in Israel - an exciting and internationally significant find which is to be excavated by a joint Israeli/Egyptian team. To give the project a truly international profile, both professionals and amateurs from around the world are invited to participate, and in their own ways, the various characters that have been introduced earlier become involved in the project. On site, the professionals and amateurs mingle, their various faiths are discussed and compared, finding many surprising similarities between their guiding tenets. As the archaeological work moves on, and notwithstanding their disparate backgrounds, a strong camaraderie is established. But they are working in a troubled region - dark forces are massing, forces that would like to see the site destroyed. Can the Israeli security forces keep them at bay?

Two Images of God: Quest is a carefully structured narrative which involves a large cast of characters along with a good number of themes, which in the end boil down to one principal question: why can’t we all just get along? Brian P. Sheets displays a depth of knowledge and a great deal of skill in presenting the political differences, the historical backgrounds and the sometimes obvious similarities between the religions of this troubled corner of the world. The question is a simple one, but to try to answer it from a religious perspective is like trying to douse a fire using petrol. As Mr Sheets himself admits, all the region’s creeds have blood on their hands. Put individual educated Jews, Muslims and Christians together on an archaeological dig and they will get along. Put those same religions together in the population of one country and sooner or later there will be strife. There are those who believe that religion is itself at the core of the world’s troubles and if a God exists, He must be one that enjoys seeing His subjects tormented, tortured and killed in ways that defy any semblance of logic or humanity. I have given this book five stars because I think it is an important work and represents an increasingly urgent topic for discussion. I may not agree with some of the views expressed, but I think this book should be read. Make your own decision.

Edith Wairimu

Two Images of God: Quest by Brian P. Sheets asks the baffling question: “Why can’t we all get along?” Everywhere we turn, the world is riddled with terrorism fuelled by a misguided hatred towards those who are perceived differently by the terrorist groups. In the book, the religious differences that build walls between people of different faiths slowly melt into bridges. Through the various characters in Two Images of God: Quest, Sheets shows how similar we are and why violence and intolerance are unnecessary. The characters in the book come from different religious or denominational backgrounds. For instance, Abdul is a Sunni professor at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and teaches with Hadiya, who is a Shia professor at the same institute. The book culminates in an interesting and captivating plot.

In Two Images of God: Quest, Brian P. Sheets sets out to demystify the global issue of religious intolerance. He creates characters who are complex, thought-provoking, and who fit superbly into the narrative. I liked the way he brings all the characters together to reflect the message behind the whole story, which is filled with emotion and action. Two Images of God: Quest expertly develops the theme of co-existence, bringing out its vital importance and the possibility of living harmoniously with open-mindedness. The plot is thrilling and told in simple yet impactful language. It is difficult to point out one single element that I liked about Two Images of God: Quest since there are quite a number. Top of the list is undoubtedly the message contained in it. It is truly an excellent book. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Brian P. Sheets’s work.

Divine Zape

Anyone who is familiar with the history of human civilization knows that religion has often been at the heart of any significant cultural movement and we all know that traumas and wars have caused immense suffering to humanity, wars inspired by religious fanaticism. In Two Images of God: Quest, Brian P Sheets skillfully explores the nature of the ancient rivalry between two major religions, Christianity and Islam, and leads readers to consider a new form of truce, a way of living together, bringing onto the scene a cast of very compelling characters — scientists, archaeologists, and experts from diverse fields, all sharing different beliefs but determined to live and work together. It’s the kind of utopia any sane person would want for our society. But then there are forces that are set against them, determined to subdue them and destroy the amity they enjoy. What would it take for the ideological war to end?

This is a well-crafted novel that is infused with humanity and realism, and the realism cries out powerfully through each page. Brian P Sheets has a singular style of narrative and whether he indulges the reader with great images or makes them witnesses to his intense and action-packed scenes, the spell of the writing remains strong and unwavering. The pacing is steady and fast and the characters are well-thought out and beautifully developed. The plot comes out as original, filled with surprises that readers won’t see coming. Two Images of God: Quest is a powerful novel and even though it is very entertaining, it is purpose-driven, compelling readers to reflect about the form of dialogue that could restore peace in the world — the dialogue of religions.