Religion - Christian Life - Inspirational
I read Joe Kissack's The Fourth Fisherman after receiving a review copy for free. This book tells the incredible story of a man who seemed to have it all - a luxurious life, a great career, a big house, fancy sports cars, a beautiful wife and a great family. This man, Joe Kissack, had spent his entire life chasing acceptance and approval and attempting to find happiness in his material possessions and his wealth and a host of worldly things that could never give him what he so desperately craved. Eventually, Kissack hit rock bottom after he developed an addiction to prescription drugs and lost his job. Just before being admitted into an outpatiend psychiatric program, Kissack found a faith in God that ultimately changed his life drastically.
After embarking on this new journey with God, Kissack chased down three Mexican fisherman who had been lost at sea for more than nine months. He felt drawn to their story because it was a story similar to his own - a story of brokenness and despair, of survival and near-death, of ultimate rescue and restoration. After Kissack tracked down the men through small Mexican villages, he got them to give him the rights to their story and began the process of writing this book and getting their story - a story of hope- out to the world. This is the premise of The Fourth Fisherman. The underlying theme, something that Kissack makes so clear, is that he and the fisherman are simply characters in God's story. And he draws upon their tale of survival to find the strength to be a better character in his own story.
The book is full of exitement and inspiration. It has the power to relate to any reader as it includes the tale of both utter defeat and victory. From his life of success to the gutter and ultimately to a new-found faith, Kissack's story resonates with all people in any stage of life.
The one thing that seems to be missing from the whole story is salvation through Jesus. Faith in God is heavily relied upon and promoted. Joe finds faith and begins to attend church. The fisherman, while lost at sea, had faith that God would help them. The families of the wanderers lit candles and prayed to the Virgin Mary and had faith that God would answer their prayers. But only a few times throughout the whole book is the name of Jesus mentioned. My question in response to this is: How can a person be truly "saved" if they don't enter into a relationship with Jesus? I applaud Kissack's faith and I deeply respect the place that the Bible and God had in the survival of the fisherman. But I can't help but wonder why Jesus is so clearly missing from the story.
This book is not a theological treatise, nor is it a Gospel presentation. But it does represent a form of Christianity and as such it should be about more than one man's crazy journey through life and through the jungles of Mexico. If Kissack and the fisherman are simply characters in "God's story" then shouldn't Jesus be the hero?
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a gripping and exciting story of defeat and rescue. But the warning I would offer is this: don't take it as gospel. Take it for what it is: a story of one man's battle and three fishermen's miraculous survival.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General