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A Tale of Three Kings Paperback – 1980

387 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Christian Books; Not Indicated edition (1980)
  • ASIN: B000KEL2D0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,455,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gene Edwards is one of America's most beloved Christian authors. He has published over 25 best-selling books, and his signature work, "The Divine Romance," has been called a masterpiece of Christian literature. He has written biblical fiction covering nearly the entire Bible, with titles that include the following: "The Beginning," "The Escape," "The Birth," "The Divine Romance," "The Triumph," "Revolution," "The Silas Diary," "The Titus Diary," "The Timothy Diary," "The Priscilla Diary," "The Gaius Diary," and "The Return."

Gene grew up in the East Texas oil fields and entered college at the age of 15. He graduated from East Texas State University at 18 with a bachelor's degree in English history and received his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gene is part of the house-church movement, and he travels extensively to aid Christians as they begin meeting in homes rather than in church buildings. He also conducts conferences on living the deeper Christian life.

Gene and his wife, Helen, reside in Jacksonville, Florida, and have two grown children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 96 people found the following review helpful By G. T. Howell on October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
In "A Tale of Three Kings" author Gene Edwards examines two relationships in the life of David - Saul and Absalom - and from them he draws insights that believers can apply to their own authority-related issues. Instead of approaching these Scriptural accounts like a traditional devotional writer, he retells the stories in a semi-fictionalized fashion. This approach yields some beautiful, moving prose that almost reads like poetry in places, but it also leaves the door open to the author inserting his own conjecture into the story. I'm willing to accept a little artistic license, but Edwards goes over the top in my opinion. For example, in the prologue he spins a pure fable in which God tells Gabriel to allow the yet-to-be-born spirits of David and Saul to choose their destinies. This "Mall of Unborn Destinies", as Edwards calls it, sounds more like Mormonism than Biblical Christianity. I doubt that the author meant it that way, but it illustrates the pitfalls of the fictionalizing approach.

Aside from style-related problems, Edwards does cull some meaningful insights from the story of David and Saul in Part 1. David's refusal to rebel against Saul, especially when he had the chance to kill him, is a powerful illustration of how we need to react to our authorities, even those who are abusing their position. The author makes some excellent points about how God used David's suffering to bring him to a point of brokenness, and how David always treated Saul as God's anointed despite his wicked behavior.

His observations in Part 2 are less helpful. He makes some good points about David's humble heart and how we need to examine ourselves and trust God when someone is challenging our authority, but he wrongly portrays David's reaction to Absalom's rebellion.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E Ellis on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you work or live with a tyrant? Got a spoiled brat in your life? David did. Had both. He served a crazy king who tried to kill him and had a vain, self-absorbed son who tried to usurp him. Both nearly succeeded.
How David coped with these insane situations with God's love, grace, and wisdom have changed my life. The patience, respect for God, surrender, and trust in the Lord spoke powerfully to me through the years of history between us. David's unique reactions revealed Jesus Christ to me in a new way.
David's struggles dwarfed mine but the lessons of his life challenged me to become a better Christian - a man of honor - a man of God.
Gene Edwards has a gift for cutting through difficult topics on a unique slant. He brings a new level of understanding to old problems, stories, and issues. There were times when reading this book that I had to stop, lay it down, and catch my breath as new revelation washed over me.
A strong recommendation for the thoughtful believer who is willing to go to the next level of faith.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By on December 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
A Tale Of Three Kings is a an awesome piece of Christian literature. If you are tired of all the "holy spirit, healing, prosperity, achieving wealth through biblical principles" type books, than Gene Edwards is your man. In this book, Gene lays out a refreshing perspective on brokeness that is not quite traditional in mainstream "Sunday school, pulpit preachings". Through his wonderful and simplistic story telling style, Gene goes into the depths of the hearts of three kings, namely King Saul, King David, and King Absolom. Not only will this book aid in your journey towards the deep things of the Lord and His ways, but it will cause us to look into our very hearts and ask the question, "which heart of these Kings do I have....." Indeed men fix things that break, but after we read this book we emerge w/ the understanding that God breaks men to fix them.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Verity3 on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Please do not be fooled. This book is not a safe haven for those who have been wounded by authority. It is a recipe for spiritual abuse. I truly believe Gene Edwards means well. I believe he wants to point the reader to God. I even believe he wants to comfort the wounded in a way. But I also believe his hyper-authoritarian agenda needs to be exposed for what it is. Hence this review.

Gene Edwards' A Tale of Three Kings, which he claims to have written to "comfort" (p. xii) those who have been abused by authority, uses a combination of highly selective Scriptural accounts of the life of David, fictionalization and fabrication to lead readers into practicing denial of truth, isolation and passivity in the name of "healing" (p. xii). Edwards' approach goes way beyond a call to love and do right by those who hate and wound us, and potentially deceives wounded believers into enabling the victimization of themselves and others, while at the same time it seeks to deny them the ability to recognize their victimization for what it is.

Edwards' story is presented as a fairy tale, yet it is also presented as a model for living. This model specifically advocates denial of the truth in chapter 7. "First of all, he must pretend he cannot see spears. ... Last, he must pretend nothing happened" (p. 19). Thus Edwards irresponsibly encourages victims to brainwash themselves into ignoring problems, and potentially sets up further victimization.

Furthermore, Edwards pressures victims into isolation.
There's only one way to leave a kingdom:
All alone. [p. 28]
Edwards' apparent purpose is to avoid "split[ting] the kingdom" (p. 27).
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