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. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at christianaudio.com.