Revive! The Oracles of God

Revive! coverRevive! The Oracles of God:
The Three Constants of the Christian Faith

By Ozakieoniso Charlie
WestBow Press
26 November 2013

oracle: noun a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity. (special usage) a person or thing regarded as an infallible authority or guide on something.

Revive! The Oracles of God is split into a preface, an introduction, and five chapters. For those who don’t know, a preface is usually about the book as a book that is separate from the rest of the material: methodology, how it was written, etc. An introduction, however, is about the book’s content. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Ozakieoniso Charlie understood the difference in this case because they bleed together and overlap.

The first chapter attempts to explain what an “oracle” is, but it isn’t very clear, evidenced by the fact that I had to look up the word’s contextual definition. The second, third, and fourth chapters cover the oracles themselves, which Charlie calls “the three constants of the Christian faith”: the Word of God (the Bible), prayer, and selfless service. Finally, the last section is where the author brings it all together with his 21-day prayer project.

The three oracles—the Word, prayer, and selfless service—are first introduced and then elaborated upon in their own chapters. Charlie’s writing is verbose and hard to follow, and his explaining “the three constants of the Christian faith” is no exception. My first reservation had to do with the apparent lack of focus (except in the very last section) on the most prominent figure in Christianity: Jesus. Talking about Jesus could get old really fast, especially for someone like me, who is not a Christian and hasn’t read anything “new” about Jesus since she was 15 years old, and so there’s potential for the lack of Jesus in a narrative about the Bible and Christianity to be complex, intriguing, and profound. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

The last section focuses on the reader’s application in their own life. It’s basically a prayer schedule: read a Bible verse or chapter (mostly from the Books of Isaiah and Revelation), “sing songs of praise for at least twenty minutes”, and then prayer for an hour or more at a time. The prayer is split into multiple prayer points, sometimes as many as 40, with many as in-understandable as “Every star destroyer from my hometown caging my star and my destiny, destroy yourselves, in the name of Jesus.” No one with decent reading ability should have to ask the author what something means because it’s the author’s job to write in a way that the reader will understand.

I have never seen the word “oracle” used in the way that the author uses it here, so wrapping my head around the special usage (see above) every time I read it was really distracting and removed me from what the author was trying to accomplish. The quotations from the King James Version Bible are excessive, sometimes pages long. Likewise, I read pages of non-Bible-verse material without a single paragraph break, and that’s not a good thing.

DISCLAIMER: I received Revive! The Oracles of God free from WestBow Press for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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