- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Ignatius Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586173685
- ISBN-13: 978-1586173685
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.1 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Theophilos Hardcover – March 1, 2010
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From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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"An arresting work. Totally credible both historically and psychologically. There's not a single false note in this music. Do you want to get into a time machine and actually live in the first century world? Then read this book!" ---Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy Boston College
"O'Brien again takes up the theme of the truth of revelation before an unbelieving generation. This novel searches the soul of our time through the eyes of St. Luke and Theophilos and those they encountered, including the Lord Himself. O'Brien brings to life the wonder that filled the soul of Luke." ---James V. Schall, SJ, Professor of Political Philosophy, Georgetown University
"All of Michael O'Brien's novels are in a sense 'historical,' even those often regarded as 'prophetic.' Theophilos, set long ago in the first century and meticulously researched, is finely textured, lush and convincing in its depiction of the rich embroglio of Mediterranean culture in the time of the apostles. The epistolary prose is hauntingly provocative, often lyrical, compelling in its characterization of the events reported in Luke and Acts as they might be considered from a learned gentile's point of view. This is a beautiful book." ---David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Baylor University
About the Author
Michael D. O'Brien, iconographer, painter, and writer, is the popular author of many best-selling novels including Father Elijah, The Father's Tale, Eclipse of the Sun, Sophia House, Theophilos, and Island of the World. His novels have been translated into twelve languages and widely reviewed in both secular and religious media in North America and Europe.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
I don't want to spoil the story, so I'll just say that this book shows that conversion is not possible without God's grace. Even when we cooperate really well, we cannot claim responsibility for our conversion. Some people must give up so much that you know it is the work of God alone. Read the book now! Then read Luke and Acts. Watch them come alive. You will find that you can relate to the Scriptures like never before.
The protagonist is Theophilos, the correspondent whom Luke mentions at the beginning of Luke's Gospel and Acts. The Greek-born son of a man freed from slavery, Theophilos seems free of both the slavery his father endured and the delusions imposed by the world and the excesses of passion.
A practicing physician on the Isle of Crete, Theophilos is every bit the modern rationalist--but with the soul of a virtuous pagan. In fact, Theophilos is an archetype of the best that the world and human effort, intellect, and technos have to offer. A fitting Virgil to lead us through the ancient world in the decades immediately following the Death and Resurrection of Iesous the Christos, he guides us pilgrim readers through the follies and glories of humankind in a journey that stretches beyond a particular age. The suspense of the plot is evoked in our--and Theophilos'--haunting doubt as to whether ours is the path to Inferno or Purgatorio.
Rescuing Loukas (Luke) from a plague that has wasted Loukas' mother (Theophilos' sister), father, and city (Thessalonika), Theophilos takes the boy to his home on Crete, raising the child as his own and training him in medicine, a labor and science that Theophilos again and again heroically and vainly wields against the forces of chaos.
For, outside Theophilos' well-stocked library and even the walls of his home town lurks man's capacity for evil. Repeatedly, the good physician struggles to snatch a few more years of life for one of his patients, only to witness humanity's thirst for death. This book is a meditation on the physician who cannot heal himself and the worldly agonies that tear open his heart.
Like Aeneas carrying his father from burning Troy, Theophilos is Antique pagan man--and the best of contemporary man--struggling to save from the burning ruins of human civilization something that marks our dignity and purpose in the cosmos. Theophilos dialogues with the young Loukas upon the latter's interpretation of the Aeneid, both physicians assenting to the vanity of human effort, even that of the greatest empire in history:
"the dream of noble Rome, the forgiving and just Rome, is an illusion ... the sword is always thrust into those whom she conquers." (47)
But Loukas adds an important coda that foreshadows his--and the pagan world's--embracing an unforeseen hope: the resurrected Christos, who carries us out of the flames:
"There is a scene I love most of all ... when Troy is burning and Aeneas ... escapes carrying his aged father on his back--and with his little son clinging to his hand." (47-48)
I will not tell you here whether Theophilos is saved from the burning ruins of the City of Man ... for that story is our own story--the story of our age, which is yet in the telling. In the meantime, O'Brien invites our age to dare believe that we are not "shameless apes" deserving to die in our burning cities.
Read Theophilos to discover why.
This book led me, with Theophilos, on a pilgrimage to new and deeper insights into the nature and intimate meaning of the person of Jesus, the Savior, the Son of God, the Son of man. Beyond the insights I enjoyed as I read, I received a deeper openness to the truth of God at work in our midst, as well as experiencing renewed grief for my personal selfish sins and pride, and subsequent gratitude and joy in the mercy, grace and life given to me in Christ Jesus. In short, this book served as an instrument of the Holy Spirit to bless my spiritual growth. Thank you Michael O`Brien for the iconic gift you give the readers of your works of love!
Luke and his son, Theophilos are the central characters in the book. They are well developed, and their travels and adventures kept me on the edge of my chair, wondering what would come next.
I have enjoyed many of O'Brien's books. This was no exception. Woven into a fascinating story are many details about life in the time of the Roman Empire, about 30 years after the death of Jesus. There are descriptions about the early Christian church and its worship services. In spite of persecution, the church spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. I have read several other books recently about life in the early Christian Church. This is one of the best. It won't be long before I read this book again.