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The Influence (Supernatural Thriller) by [Slick, Matthew John]
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4.7 out of 5 stars 374 customer reviews

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Length: 382 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. Matt earned his Bachelors in Social Science from Concordia University, Irvine, CA in 1988. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, in Escondido, CA, in 1991. He now resides in the Boise, Idaho area with his family. He is ordained. Matt started CARM in October of 1995 to respond to the many false teachings of the cults on the Internet when it first began. Matt lives in Boise Idaho with his wonderful family and is the author of "The Influence" as well as many short stories.

Product Details

  • File Size: 982 KB
  • Print Length: 382 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: StoneHouse Ink; 2 edition (July 26, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 26, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0040X4XCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,667 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the title, I was not expecting this novel to as good as it is. I was totally blown away by this book. I have read other reviews in Shelfari and Amazon and I agree with some of the reviewers, "...great example of using fiction to also teach sound Biblical theology...", "...wondering if this was really a non-fiction story...", "It not only helped me strengthen my faith but made me think of a lot of things about my relationship with God..", "recommend this to anyone who is going through a difficult period...Actually I would recommend this book to all Christians...", "...a great story as well as educating us on Christian doctrine..".

I did not want this to end, I cried at the end, not due to sadness but joy, at the sovereignity of God, His grace, His mercy, His love for us and above the Hope that only He can provide and give us.

A sequel would be great here. That would be such a blessing. This is one of my all time favourites.

In the league of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness, and Piercing The Darkness, and also Graham Carter's No Eye Has Seen, even Randy Alcorn's Ishbane Conspiracy and Lord Foulgrin Letters.

This is a must read for every Christian. Highly Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Matt Slick has written an tremendously engaging story that grabs you emotionally but also is sound in its theology and will make you think. I was brought to tears at times and at other times the suspense kept me from putting it down. My only disappointment is that it is too intense for my children to read yet. This is a great example of using fiction to also teach sound Biblical theology, unlike the theological mess of "The Shack". If you read "The Shack" and loved it then you should read this book too because it also well written fiction but also because it may clear up the theological muddiness you experienced.
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Matt Slick is one of the greatest Christian apologists of our day. That being said, he's not a novelist. I'll first tackle the "cons", and then the "pros".

I give this book a 3 for writing, and a perfect 5 for theology, averaging to a decent 4. As a film and writing student, I'm going to be extra harsh when judging this story. It's clear that Matt is an amateur when it comes to storytelling, jumping in and out of third-person limited narration to give the book a sometimes emotionally jarring attitude. The characters are flat at times, with little uniqueness about them. While this keeps the characters believable, it doesn't give them much appeal. The angels and demons are by far the most interesting part of the story. The dialogue seems lame and contrived at times, with character blatantly stating their feelings and lacking the subtly of real human interaction. I guess I see a bit of Matt in each character, rather than seeing the character as an individual. This could be result of the fact that I spend so much time on his website and listening to his radio show. The story travels along and holds your interest well-enough, though it is predictable at times and lacks nuance or suspense. When someone has a prophecy about what's going to happen at the end, it's hard to take the character's confusion seriously. This goes back to the awkward third-person limited narration that fades in and out of the characters' minds. There was some interesting symbolism and parallelism going on with the butterfly imagery, but I would have liked to see more of that. Even so, the main character blatantly recognizes the symbolism and points it out to the reader, which I find to be intellectually insulting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have read "The Shack" and somehow come away believing you have read sound Biblical theology, think again. Whereas "The Shack" has you coming away feeling...whatever, "The Influence" not only challenges you intellectually and spiritually, it does so while espousing SOUND Biblical theology in a thrilling and engaging manner. "The Influence" leaves you feeling truly inspired! In other words, "The Shack" is to Chinese food what "The Influence" is to a good old-fashioned, homemade meat and potatoes dinner with all the trimmings; including your pie a la mode with a cherry on top for dessert.
Will you want to put "The Influence" down? Not likely. Will you want to pass "The Influence" onto others? Most definitely! Will "The Influence" inspire you to be an "influence" in the lives of those you love, Christian, and more importantly, non-Christian? Absolutely!! So don't just recommend "The Influence", get a copy of it into the hands of those you love.
By God's grace alone, Matt Slick has done well with "The Influence" and brought praise, glory and honor to the one true God of all creation.
" the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen." Romans 16:27
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me start positively first.
As far as "religious fiction" goes, this book is in the top of the list, behind obvious books such as Pilgrim's Progress or perhaps Douglas Bond novels. After getting myself into "The Shack"--without having any idea what it was about--and leaving appalled by what I ended up reading, this book was a relief. Sadly, I'm sure it will never have the same popularity as The Shack; and why would it when it speaks the Gospel (and other matters) with such clarity and bluntness? The theology is orthodox, the Gospel is apparent, and the story is pretty entertaining.

Okay, negatively now (don't get me wrong I think this book would be great for unbelievers to read).
The editing is a bit shoddy. Typos and grammatical errors can be found throughout, and sometimes they can be a bit distracting when you have to reread a sentence to figure out what the writer was attempting to say. I would simply recommend that Matt revise and put out a second edition, that would take care of that.
Also, Matt Slick is an apologist, and not really what I would think of as a novel writer. It's clear that this is his first attempt at a novel. And while I believe that it is a valiant effort--and ten times better than anything I could put out--it fails a bit in my idea of a well-written fiction book. The descriptions can be somewhat shallow, the characters a bit static, and the battle scenes a little repeditive.

That's all I'll say negatively. Bottom line, the book serves its purpose, it is clear on the issues of God's holiness, the law, the Gospel, theodicy, theology, etc. It would be a great read to give to unbelievers, or just believers looking for an entertaining fiction novel without the worldliness found in others.
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