When Brother Nathan was a child in Egypt, he witnessed the unthinkable--his own father's murder at the hands of terrorists. At first, he struggled with his powerful urge to seek revenge against his father's assassins. Today, he ministers in the very village where his father was killed, as well as in countless other cities and villages across Egypt and throughout the Middle East.
Love Casts Out Fear tells the gripping story of a deadly attack, Nathan's initial anger, and forgiveness that makes way for redemption. It also gives a firsthand account of the challenges faced today by Middle Eastern Christians, and of God's provision for a ministry that touches the lives of thousands. Readers will passionately come alongside Brother Nathan in this true-life thriller as he shares the love of Christ in a dangerous place to claim Christ as Lord.
- A grace-filled look at the power of love
Love Casts Out Fear: A Jihad Survivor’s Journey from Revenge to Redemption by Brother Nathan isn’t a book I would typically pick up and read. However, I found myself intrigued by the title. What kind of story of lies behind a title like that? In short, it’s not what I expected.
Brother Nathan’s story from the ages of six to eleven is one of tragedy and upheaval. He was raised in a small village in Upper Egypt. At the age of six he personally witnessed the violent death of his father, a beloved pastor and community leader, at the hands of terrorists. The family is left destitute and displaced after the death of Brother Nathan’s father and forced to move to the big city of Cairo. Brother Nathan describes the rage and bitterness that grew in his heart from that point until Jesus Christ changed his heart at age eleven.
Honestly, I found Brother Nathan’s account of his life to be gripping at times and rather tedious at other times. For certain stretches, I had to fight to stay interested in this book. The “journey” mentioned in the title is resolved in the first third of the book, and while Brother Nathan has certainly lived an incredible life, I found myself asking, “Where is this book going?”
And then, when the end of the book came, it all made sense. God brings Brother Nathan’s story full circle, and I realized that while I was questioning the relevance of all this narrative, I was being set-up for an “it-all-makes-sense-now” twist ending. I don’t want to ruin it for future readers; let’s just say Brother Nathan is able to use his story to preach the gospel in a very unique venue.
Brother Nathan’s story is all about the adventure of following God’s leading. It’s also the story of a nation, Egypt, and its tenuous relationship with Christians and religious freedom over the past 60 years. Finally, it is the story of how God’s perfect love expressed through a person really can cast out fear, and has the incredible power to transform people, nations, and ultimately the world.
I recommend this book, and encourage the reader to hang on for the ride until the grace-filled conclusion. Youssif Kamal does an outstanding job on the narration, making the audiobook version a truly great listen.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Love Truly Casts Out Fear and Hatred
In a time of increasing globalization and exposure to people with different ideas, cultures, values, and faiths, putting a face and a personal story to the Other can be quite powerful and meaningful in building love, respect, and understanding. Love Casts Out Fear: A Jihad Survivor's Journey from Revenge to Redemption is a personal testimony of one man's experience of pain, tragedy, hatred, and personal transformation that has led to the transformation of many other lives.
This book is the story of Brother Nathan, an Egyptian Christian who witnessed his father's murder by Islamic extremists. He details how this event changed his life and could have led him down a path of responsive, retributive violence (and he was planning on going down that path). However, the consistent love and support of community helped him experience the transformative power of Christ, replacing his fear and hatred of his father's murderers. He went on to build relationships and demonstrate the love of Christ to all in his community, including Muslims of the dominant, ruling party in his country.
While many Christians in America claim to be oppressed and discriminated against and yet continue to show hatred to those "oppressors," Brother Nathan's story is a powerful reminder of priorities and what real oppression looks like. It also reminds us of what Christ's true love calls us toward. All those who want to continue to pursue self-protection at the cost of destroying others should read this book and remember core Christian values.
The audiobook version was very well done, and narrative Youssif Kamal was excellent. I frequently had to remember that this book was not read by the author, as Kamal put appropriate emotion to bring the story to life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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