FAITH IN THE FOG OF WAR: Volumes I and II
After spending a year in Korea, Captain Chris Plekenpol had just completed his service commitment with the army and was looking forward to embracing what he felt was an even greater calling to attend seminary. But when he received the unexpected opportunity to become commander of the Apache Armor Company, he took it, never dreaming that twelve days later he would be preparing his men to face the ultimate test --- deployment to the war in Iraq.
War screams the same questions that are whispered in everyday life, and Plekenpol found himself wondering, Am I ready to die? Do I have what it takes to be the leader these men need? Is God going to be good through this? While on the battlefield in Iraq, he wrote FAITH IN THE FOG OF WAR, a collection of devotionals based on the daily triumphs and tragedies of life in a war zone.
“There were times when my mind was flooded with fear. But, in spite of that fear, I had the sense that God was going to be with me, that somehow He would work things out,” Plekenpol reflects, adding that the struggle to conquer fear is not unique to a soldier’s experience. “We all face fear, challenges and heartache. It’s the nature of life in this fallen world. The problems that normal life brings are just amplified in war.”
This book will touch readers from every walk of life. After several years of war, the images of violence in Iraq that continue to fill the nightly news can almost recede into the background. We seldom hear a soldier’s perspective. Plekenpol’s firsthand accounts of the realities of life in war-torn Iraq, many recorded on the very day that they happened, will drive readers back to their knees in prayer for our soldiers and the innocent Iraqis who are often victims of terrorism’s tactics.
As a writer, Plekenpol refuses to distill complicated issues into user-friendly platitudes. At times he is content simply to ask the hard questions of faith, wondering in his heart if it was wrong to witness a man --- an enemy --- in the moment of his final heartbeat and be glad. Why, when he picked up his own dead solder and said “In the name of Jesus, get up and walk,” did nothing ever happen?
Plekenpol is the kind of hero that people, especially young men, have been waiting to follow --- a warrior who fights the necessary battles but lives a life of compassion and deep self-reflection, one who is genuinely more concerned about the needs of a lost world than he is for his own agenda. Many of these devotionals were penned just hours after the devastating loss of a fellow soldier, and he allows readers to accompany him through the raw emotions of grief and loss until he ultimately finds encouragement from God’s word for every situation.
Though FAITH IN THE FOG OF WAR was created as a daily devotional, it is simply too compelling to put down after one chapter. Plekenpol is a born leader, and readers will be inspired to follow his example in their own faith walks. “I believe God had a firsthand purpose in shaping into a book my firsthand account of war and my relationship with him,” Plekenpol says. “I pray that as people read it, they will be challenged to relentlessly pursue his purposes for them --- that they will live out loud for the cause of Christ.”
FAITH IN THE FOG OF WAR: Volumes I and II © Copyright 2017 by Chris Plekenpol. Reprinted with permission by Multnomah Books and In-Him Ministries. All rights reserved.
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