Friday, July 8, 2011

The Battle for Andy

On Andy's seventeenth birthday, his parents are killed in a car accident. As an only child, he was close to his parents, and embraced their Christianity. However, when his non-believing aunt learns he is heir to over a million dollars, she becomes enthralled with the idea of becoming his guardian and showing him the folly of his faith. Little does she realize, God has other plans for Andy.

Written in the style of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness, The Battle for Andy explores the supernatural struggle for Andy's allegiance, and ultimately, his soul. Ann Correll writes a captivating, real-life mystery, using a spiritual warfare framework. As soon as Andy's parents die, Satan sends his servants to try to turn Andy away from God. God is not taken by surprise, however, and sends His own angels to protect Andy.

The servants of Satan quickly learn they can use Aunt Margaret's greed to negatively influence Andy. Margaret will stop at nothing, even if it means harming her own father, her husband, and Andy. Through it all, Andy's grandpa and his youth pastor stay close to him, uphold him with prayer, and guide him in the right paths. Obviously, God's side wins, and Andy stays strong in his faith.

What I Like: I love Ann Correll's heart. She clearly has a heart for teens, and hopes they all will know Jesus and trust Him, no matter what happens in their lives. I also like the way she uses Scripture throughout the book. Andy, his grandpa, and his youth pastor all know their Bibles, and can apply the Word of God to everyday situations. Correll includes a chapter-by-chapter list of Scriptures at the end of the book.

The Battle for Andy is also a good reminder of Ephesians 6: 12: "For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the . . .spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly high places." Correll clearly shows the power of prayer to defeat Satan's servants, and the wisdom of making good choices.

What I Dislike: I have a couple of concerns both with Correll's writing and theology. First, her grandmother's voice comes though in her writing. I don't mind this, but I am afraid teen boys won't get past the first chapter. Although she consistently speaks with love, she does sound a bit preachy and old-fashioned at times. Andy is seventeen, and is mature for his age, but still calls his grandfather "Papa." As I say, I don't mind Correll's voice, but I am not sure teens would read the whole book. Also, Andy and Margaret often call their fathers by their first names, which makes reading confusing. I had to go back and check who they were referring to more than once.

Secondly, Correll presents two theological issues I am not sure I agree with. She maintains God has no problem with Christians being wealthy, and uses Job and Abraham as examples. However, she never addresses Jesus' teachings that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

She also shows Andy's grandfather counseling Andy to ask God for a "sign" in the manner of Gideon. I believe this was acceptable in Old Testament times. However, since God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers after Jesus died, we can rely on His leading, and no longer need to ask for tangible "signs."

Although both these issues are controversial, I wouldn't want teens reading the book to assume they will be wealthy if they do the right thing. I also wouldn't want readers to always rely on "signs" to discern God's will.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: Young Adult (14-21)

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing Enterprises, 2011; ISBN: 978-61739; Paperback, 194 pages, $15.99

Buy it at Amazon.com for $15.99.

Bookmark and Share

3 comments:

BWF said...

Very interesting. I appreciate your point of view & sensitivity to controversial subjects.

I also have a book blog. Don't you just love reading?

Erin said...

I do love reading! I think there are lots of teens who would appreciate "The Battle for Andy" but I do hope parents and guardians would talk to them about the issues in the book.

I hope you enjoy CCBR. Thanks for reading us! Erin

Mainstay Ministries said...

This is a very interesting book. It's controversy somehow reflects a real life teen's battle in life.