Kacie's Reviews > The Last Sin Eater

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers
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May 20, 09

Read in February, 2009

My bookish blogging friends challenged my disdain for Francine Rivers (which I picked up from my fav. college lit professor, who called Rivers Christian crap-o-rama). Maybe I was being too harsh. Maybe there was a depth to Rivers that is often missing in popular Christian fiction.

Well - if Francine Rivers has a greater depth than most, it wasn't evident in "The Last Sin Eater". I didn't like it. I mean, I actually really liked the concept, but about half-way through the novel the concept started unraveling into a simplistic evangelical salvation presentation. I don't have a problem with Christian art and literature or with the Christian presentation of salvation, but I do have a problem with bad Christian art and literature and overly simplistic, misleading mini-sermons.

See, the idea of a "sin-eater" is apparently from old Scotland and Whales, where communities would a assign one member the duty of "eating" the sin of community members that passed away. This insured that only one member of the community had to carry the guilt of sin and everyone else would be purified at their death.

Obviously, that is a very, very cool metaphor that parallels with the gospel very clearly. Thing is, while it started as a metaphor set in a superstitious mountain community, it was turned into a modern gospel pitch, and it just didn't fit culturally so it wasn't believable. It might have worked as a kids story... but I kept thinking, "You can't make the jump from not knowing anything about Christianity to suddenly talking like a 70-year-old pastor! That's cultural lingo - it's not imparted by 'praying the prayer'!".

Anyways - I didn't like The Last Sin Eater.
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