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The Last Christian

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In the future, it's possible to live forever--but at what cost? A.D. 2088. Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. A curious message from her grandfather leads Abby to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died o In the future, it's possible to live forever--but at what cost? A.D. 2088. Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. A curious message from her grandfather leads Abby to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died out. But a larger threat looms. The world's leading artificial intelligence industrialist has perfected a technique for downloading the human brain into a silicon form. Brain transplants have begun, and with them comes the potential of eliminating physical death altogether. As Abby navigates a society grown more addicted to stimulating the body than nurturing the soul, she and Creighton Daniels, a historian troubled by his father's unexpected death, become unwitting targets of powerful men who will stop at nothing to further their nefarious goals. Hanging in the balance--the spiritual future of all humanity. In this fast-paced thriller, startling near-future science collides with thought-provoking religious themes to create a spell-binding "what-if?" novel.


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In the future, it's possible to live forever--but at what cost? A.D. 2088. Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. A curious message from her grandfather leads Abby to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died o In the future, it's possible to live forever--but at what cost? A.D. 2088. Christian missionary Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. A curious message from her grandfather leads Abby to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died out. But a larger threat looms. The world's leading artificial intelligence industrialist has perfected a technique for downloading the human brain into a silicon form. Brain transplants have begun, and with them comes the potential of eliminating physical death altogether. As Abby navigates a society grown more addicted to stimulating the body than nurturing the soul, she and Creighton Daniels, a historian troubled by his father's unexpected death, become unwitting targets of powerful men who will stop at nothing to further their nefarious goals. Hanging in the balance--the spiritual future of all humanity. In this fast-paced thriller, startling near-future science collides with thought-provoking religious themes to create a spell-binding "what-if?" novel.

30 review for The Last Christian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a fascinating book. My wife reads voraciously and it's rare she says, "Hey, you really should read this book." I am sure glad I did. It's a page turner, so be forewarned. Anyway, plenty of reviewers have written synopses of the book. I offer instead what I think might be an ideal prologue or epilogue (or both). It's simply a quote from the last chapter in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis entitled The New Men: "Compared with the development of man on this planet, the diffusion of Christianit This is a fascinating book. My wife reads voraciously and it's rare she says, "Hey, you really should read this book." I am sure glad I did. It's a page turner, so be forewarned. Anyway, plenty of reviewers have written synopses of the book. I offer instead what I think might be an ideal prologue or epilogue (or both). It's simply a quote from the last chapter in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis entitled The New Men: "Compared with the development of man on this planet, the diffusion of Christianity over the human race seems to go like a flash of lightning - for two thousand years is almost nothing in the history of the universe. (Never forget that we are all still 'the early Christians.' The present wicked and wasteful divisions between us are, let us hope, a disease of infancy: we are still teething. The outer world, no doubt, thinks just the opposite. It thinks we are dying of old age. But it has thought that very often before. Again and again it has thought Christianity was dying, dying by persecutions from without and corruptions from within, by the rise of Mohammedanism, the rise of the physical sciences, the rise of great anti-Christian revolutionary movements. But every time the world has been disappointed. Its first disappointment was over the crucifixion. The Man came to life again. In a sense - and I quite realise how frightfully unfair it must seem to them - that has been happening ever since. They keep on killing the thing that He started and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place. No wonder they hate us." (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

  2. 4 out of 5

    stormin

    I stopped reading this book when I realized that the only reason I was still going was to collect quotes with which to write a scathing review. That seems like a terrible reason to keep reading a book so, about 2/3rds of the way through, I gave up. This book has a solid plot setup and could easily have been made into a good sci-fi thriller, even if (for someone who reads sci-fi as much as I do) the basic layout was pretty boilerplate. The problem is that this is message fiction. The plot and the I stopped reading this book when I realized that the only reason I was still going was to collect quotes with which to write a scathing review. That seems like a terrible reason to keep reading a book so, about 2/3rds of the way through, I gave up. This book has a solid plot setup and could easily have been made into a good sci-fi thriller, even if (for someone who reads sci-fi as much as I do) the basic layout was pretty boilerplate. The problem is that this is message fiction. The plot and the characters are just an excuse to peddle a very particular brand of Christianity which I find incredibly off-putting. I think if I had agreed with the message, I would have found the book a little less unpleasant. But it didn't even have that going for it. In terms of writing, the biggest problem is that there just aren't any characters in this book. There are only sock puppets and straw men. Even by those standards, however, they are still shallow. It's bad enough to read a thinly veiled lecture. It's much worse for the lecture to take itself seriously as some kind of counter-cultural ensign when it's really just a vapid collection of platitudes. I'm still vaguely curious to know how it ends, however. Which goes to show you the potential that could have been here if David Gregory had put any effort into making his characters have any internal lives whatsoever. Instead we get a stereotypical knee-jerk Christian who is literally incapable of doubt or nuance in any meaningful sense (these are apparently virtues in Gregory's mind) and a scholar of Christianity who has all the depth and incision of an Internet troll, plus a few random one-dimensional bad guys of varying degrees of evil to keep the plot running. Oh well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blossom

    What did I think? I was really taken in with this book. I gave it 3 stars but it's more like 3.25 perhaps. What I enjoyed about the book was the science fiction and the view of the future. I didn't think the author did particularly well with character descriptions; the emotional and mental descriptions were alright though. By that I mean I had only a vague idea of what the characters looked like so when the scenes centered around them, it was difficult to picture the character in the scenes. And What did I think? I was really taken in with this book. I gave it 3 stars but it's more like 3.25 perhaps. What I enjoyed about the book was the science fiction and the view of the future. I didn't think the author did particularly well with character descriptions; the emotional and mental descriptions were alright though. By that I mean I had only a vague idea of what the characters looked like so when the scenes centered around them, it was difficult to picture the character in the scenes. And I'm fairly sure that the goal of the book was to spread the gospel, or Christianity, with readers. I did not like the portrayal of the gospel as incomplete the way it's been taught and lived. Adding the part about Jesus being alive in Christians as the more important part- pratically disregarding the necessity to acknowledge sin- just didn't sit well with me. He could have just as easily said we need to have love for all (as Jesus did indeed direct in the gospel) as being the more important aspect. Anyway, moving on from that. I did enjoy the writing style. It definitely grabbed me and held my attention. The references to the demise (as worded in the book) of Christianity, were well stated in my opinion and arguments that may have already been stated or will be made to some extent in years to come. I will point out that there are references to sex- adults as well as teenagers. It is virtual reality and not described in any detail but it is there and I know it will be disturbing to some. I didn't like the ending, however. I felt it was somewhat pointless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I started this book thinking I wouldn't really like it. The premise was a little "soft." But then I got into it and actually found it to be a page turner! It certainly raised a lot of questions--Christian and not--in my mind. I liked the characters, especially Abby and Creighton. They make believable lovers (of a sort.) And the mystery/thriller part is good. Of course the technology is intriguing--I suppose my brain COULD be totally replaced with software (not too much would be needed!) But the I started this book thinking I wouldn't really like it. The premise was a little "soft." But then I got into it and actually found it to be a page turner! It certainly raised a lot of questions--Christian and not--in my mind. I liked the characters, especially Abby and Creighton. They make believable lovers (of a sort.) And the mystery/thriller part is good. Of course the technology is intriguing--I suppose my brain COULD be totally replaced with software (not too much would be needed!) But the most intriguing part for me was the theological bent. I actually was quite upset with Abby's view of Christianity although it appears to be orthodox enough. And the idea that a person could lose his capacity to receive eternal life and thus the possibility of connecting (literally) with God was puzzling. I finally came to the realization that a perspective that puts a human OUT of God's reach is decidely NOT Christian. But Abby came to another realization, equally important: God wants only to be acknowledged by us as Lord and Saviour so as to give us that eternal life that is the Lord Jesus Christ. I would suggest that this is a decent mystery thriller with a good theological lesson within it. I know that I have eternal life. I also know that the mind of man is both creative and deep. The thriller part of this novel is believable: technology CAN replace humanity to some degree (I myself have both knee and ankle that are NOT my own! But God is bigger than our technology and inventions. He is Lord of the Universe and thus of this earth--including "the Grid" and Virtual Reality! He is beyond all that any of his creatures think they can dream up!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terry Conrad

    I can't quite get this book off my mind. Usually the synopsis tells me all I need to know about the storyline of a book. This book was so much more than that. I purchased this book based on a review of a friend. After reading it I read all the reviews on Amazon. Most were positive reviews but mixed feelings on the content. I thought it was brilliant. The characters, the storyline and the conspiracy were awesome. It is not an easy read as it is a bit deep and you must pay attention to keep everyt I can't quite get this book off my mind. Usually the synopsis tells me all I need to know about the storyline of a book. This book was so much more than that. I purchased this book based on a review of a friend. After reading it I read all the reviews on Amazon. Most were positive reviews but mixed feelings on the content. I thought it was brilliant. The characters, the storyline and the conspiracy were awesome. It is not an easy read as it is a bit deep and you must pay attention to keep everything straight, but I couldn't quit turning pages. The Sci Fi element was great. Trying to understand how implanting an artificial brain takes our spirit and connection to God was interesting. The culture and thinking of this future world is much the same way our thinking is going. We seem to constantly need stimulation and to be entertained with no need fo God. How the book ended was something a lot of reviewers were not happy with. They thought it ended too abruptly. I read Christian Fiction to also be entertained and I am a sucker for happy endings. I did not like the death of one character but I felt the Author's ending fit the story perfectly. I personally could not find any negatives about the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    My synopsis: Abby Caldwell has spent her entire life living with the Inisi tribe in the jungle outside Papau, New Guinea with her missionary parents. When the tribe is shut off from the outside world to enable it to keep it's cultural integrity, Abby and her family lose contact with everything and everyone. Abby's mother and father die, but she chooses to stay as the tribe is the only family she has ever known. When the tribe begin dying, she struggles out of the jungle to try to save them - but My synopsis: Abby Caldwell has spent her entire life living with the Inisi tribe in the jungle outside Papau, New Guinea with her missionary parents. When the tribe is shut off from the outside world to enable it to keep it's cultural integrity, Abby and her family lose contact with everything and everyone. Abby's mother and father die, but she chooses to stay as the tribe is the only family she has ever known. When the tribe begin dying, she struggles out of the jungle to try to save them - but is too late. Since her village had to be burned, to contain the sickness from spreading to other tribes, she has no place to go but to the family in America she knows nothing about. She discovers that her grandfather had sent her a message 16 years earlier. In the message, he tells her that he and her grandmother believe that she is the hope for America - to bring back the gospel and the belief in Jesus. As the year is 2088, it has been many years since anyone has believed in Christianity and to preach that it is the true religion is considered a hate crime. Congresswoman Lauren Caldwell is Abby's only living relative - and she would prefer Abby return to New Guinea. She is up for re-election and is afraid that with Abby's appearance her chances are going to go from slim to none. She is in cohoots with Bryson Nichols who is championing the conversion of "carbon-based" brains to "silicone" ones. He has already had his changed. This will enable him to live forever. He believes there will come a time when people choose to just live in virtual reality and not even have bodies (creepy!). Abby's grandfather Ray had been working alongside Nichols when he dies from a brain aneuryism. How is this man the same one that sent Abby the message that she needs to reintroduce Christianity? Will Abby return to her own country - or take the challenge set before her? My thoughts: This was such a good book! On one hand, it is hard to wrap my head around all the virtual reality stuff in the book and then I think about all the stuff that is different in the last 25 years - cell phones, CD's, DVD's, Internet. I bet our parents would never have envisioned anything like that. But to have Christianity die out is just something that I cannot even fathom - but it also put the question before me - what am I doing to ensure that it doesn't?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annamarie

    A bit of a slow start with chapters jumping across continents to introduce the thoughts of new characters. However, it quickly becomes a storyline that, although futuristic, is absolutely possible. Interesting to look back even a few years to when this book was written and see how our world has developed some of the same attributes of this fictional one-- where Christianity has been deemed obsolete. Sometimes the push to recognize the Holy Spirit as a living part of all Christians overcame the p A bit of a slow start with chapters jumping across continents to introduce the thoughts of new characters. However, it quickly becomes a storyline that, although futuristic, is absolutely possible. Interesting to look back even a few years to when this book was written and see how our world has developed some of the same attributes of this fictional one-- where Christianity has been deemed obsolete. Sometimes the push to recognize the Holy Spirit as a living part of all Christians overcame the plot of the story and I found it to be a bit "preachy," but when the plot advanced again I felt reconnected to the heroine. I didn't enjoy the surprise ending and I felt the author was just trying to wrap up all the loose ends in the few chapters after the jolt. All in all, I liked the book and found myself referencing CURRENT events that matched the futuristic world of the book, which lead me to ask, "Could this really happen in our world? Is this possible?" With very little stretch of the mind my answer is a terrifying "YES!" And that is what makes this book readable: probability.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    It's the year 2088 and Abby is the only person to survive when a strange disease spreads. Abby goes out in search of others survivors. Her grandpa sends a word telling her to spread the word of Jesus. Little did she know, the entire human race could obtain eternal life and her grandfather was partially to blame. The brain replacement project is already in use. Will Abby be successful in her attempts to remind everyone of a higher power or will the humans play God and end up destroying everything It's the year 2088 and Abby is the only person to survive when a strange disease spreads. Abby goes out in search of others survivors. Her grandpa sends a word telling her to spread the word of Jesus. Little did she know, the entire human race could obtain eternal life and her grandfather was partially to blame. The brain replacement project is already in use. Will Abby be successful in her attempts to remind everyone of a higher power or will the humans play God and end up destroying everything? The plot is amazing and the author really delivers on each page that you turn. A total thrill ride.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aurora Dimitre

    I had this as two stars, and then realized that the literal only thing I liked about it was how fast of a read it was. How easy it was to read--and the writing wasn't good, guys. I know the cards were stacked against me in the beginning since I don't like science fiction or Christianity, but man, this was just not a good book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Livingston

    I read the first part of the book summary about the missionary and somehow skimmed over the part about AI in which I have no interest. It starts off with AI and it was a turn off. Not really a fault of the book, I shouldn't have gotten it in the first place so I'm going to give it two stars instead of one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erika Hayes

    Well it had a bit of a slow start but what an amazing story!! I promise it won't end how you anticipate it to end. The start and finish we're a little long although on the end, it's a bit more understandable. Great ideas and story. The concepts presented sadly are not that far fetches. I would recommend as a good read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather Stevens

    I really liked this book. If you are a christian and like fiction with christian beliefs in it. this is the book for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    A mix of sci-fi and Christian fiction. It was an interesting angle on the rise of scientific progress and secularism and its effects upon religion. The reader has to accept a few far reaching claims about the end of religion in America and the civilized world with specific reference to Christianity. But it is this fact that drives the plot of this story. In my opinion, this book is going to appeal to Christian readers more so than non-believers, although the future world's technology and applicat A mix of sci-fi and Christian fiction. It was an interesting angle on the rise of scientific progress and secularism and its effects upon religion. The reader has to accept a few far reaching claims about the end of religion in America and the civilized world with specific reference to Christianity. But it is this fact that drives the plot of this story. In my opinion, this book is going to appeal to Christian readers more so than non-believers, although the future world's technology and application will be of interest to all. Language and violence are tame, but the topic of sex (especially teen sex) does come into play and pushes this towards a little older reader. Depending on your views and how you want to address this topic, anywhere from tween to teen could read this, but the target audience is probably adults. Overall, I'd say the narrator did a good job, but tended to fall on the soft spoken and slow paced side of reading. Would have liked some more pizzazz and fluctuation in character dialogue, but I can't say I didn't enjoy listening.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As a big reader of non-fiction, it’s always a bit of a struggle for me to pick up a lengthy work of fiction. When I first heard about The Last Christian, I was intrigued by the synopsis of the story, but was a bit nervous about the length of the book. I decided to give it a try and definitely feel that I was well rewarded for my time and effort. Fast forward to the year 2088. It’s the latter part of the 21st century and the world has drastically changed from what we know today in 2010. Life expec As a big reader of non-fiction, it’s always a bit of a struggle for me to pick up a lengthy work of fiction. When I first heard about The Last Christian, I was intrigued by the synopsis of the story, but was a bit nervous about the length of the book. I decided to give it a try and definitely feel that I was well rewarded for my time and effort. Fast forward to the year 2088. It’s the latter part of the 21st century and the world has drastically changed from what we know today in 2010. Life expectancy has been greatly lengthened. Many diseases have been eradicated. Nearly everyone has neural implants allowing them instant access to the grid (i.e. world wide web) and virtual reality. While all of these changes have been taking place in the outside world, life has remained unchanged amongst the Inisi tribe people in the jungles of Papa New Gineau. This is precisely where we find the story’s main character, Abigail Caldwell. She has spent all 34 years of her life amongst the Inisi, having been born to missionary parents. When we first encounter Abigail, something has gone horribly wrong in her village. She is the only one who has not contracted a strange illness that comes on quickly and ultimately results in death. Running out of time and options, she sets out on a desperate journey through the jungle in search of help. Although she is able to enlist the help of Dr. Kate Sampson from Meridian Hospital in Lae, she returns too late. Upon their return to the Inisi village, they discover that Abigail is the sole survivor. Having lost everything she ever knew, Abigail returns to Lae with Dr. Sampson. Shortly after her arrival, she receives a previously undelivered message from her grandparents. The message had been sent to Abigail on her eighteenth birthday, some sixteen birthdays ago. In this message her grandparents explain that Christianity has all but disappeared in America. They go on to further explain that they feel God has allowed the church to die in America for a specific purpose and that God has revealed to them the person he will use to rebuild the Christian church in America. That person is Abigail. While she is shocked by this prophetic message from her grandparents, it does give her some much needed direction and she sets her sights on traveling to America. Soon after her arrival in the America, Abigail quickly discovers that the United States of 2088 is vastly different than what her parents knew so many years ago. This is where the multiple story lines that have been developing in the early parts of the book begin to converge. While Abigail is struggling to figure out how she will share the gospel with the American people, there are many others who would have her silenced. As the story develops, the reader begins to unpack a complex web of murder, cover up, and deception, all culminating in a riveting conclusion. As I read this book I couldn’t help but have somewhat of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realized that there is an almost prophetic nature to the author’s description of America in the year 2088. Given our culture’s current political and spiritual trajectory, this story may not be too far from the truth. Also, as technological advance unfold at an unprecedented rate, the lines between reality and virtual reality will continue to blur. What we only experience in part today through video games and various online realities seems to have been pushed to its logical end in this story. It is important for us to consider the social and moral fallout in the real world (i.e. reality) that results from a life that is largely lived in virtual reality. This story also begs the reader to consider questions about where life actually ends and what it truly means to have eternal life. All things considered, The Last Christian was a fast paced, thought provoking and enjoyable read. My overall rating for this book is 4 stars. Author Information: David Gregory is the best-selling author of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, A Day with a Perfect Stranger, The Next Level, and the coauthor of the nonfiction The Rest of the Gospel. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning master’s degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and the University of North Texas. A native of Texas, he now lives in the Pacific Northwest. Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Press.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book captured me right from the beginning. I love great characters & plot twists. And this book had all of that, and some intriguing , thoughts. I was thinking about it, long after I put the book down, for that days reading. That tells me, me how great of an author it is, that, they can have me thinking about my Faith, and future, because of what's going on in the book. But what if?? Or how could I may make my life better now, plus being throughly , & utterly throw into another world while This book captured me right from the beginning. I love great characters & plot twists. And this book had all of that, and some intriguing , thoughts. I was thinking about it, long after I put the book down, for that days reading. That tells me, me how great of an author it is, that, they can have me thinking about my Faith, and future, because of what's going on in the book. But what if?? Or how could I may make my life better now, plus being throughly , & utterly throw into another world while reading, is so awesome. loved this book, and look forward to there books by this author!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hartness

    In David Gregory's The Last Christian, Abigail Caldwell is the daughter of Christian American missionaries in Papua, New Guinea. After spending all of her 34 years in the jungle, she travels to America and modern civilization for the first time. She discovers a world that is not only in huge contrast to her life in New Guinea, but also to life in our present-day America. The year is 2088 and technology has exploded, inundating every aspect of culture. Virtual Reality (VR) has become a prime resi In David Gregory's The Last Christian, Abigail Caldwell is the daughter of Christian American missionaries in Papua, New Guinea. After spending all of her 34 years in the jungle, she travels to America and modern civilization for the first time. She discovers a world that is not only in huge contrast to her life in New Guinea, but also to life in our present-day America. The year is 2088 and technology has exploded, inundating every aspect of culture. Virtual Reality (VR) has become a prime residence for many American minds. Post modernism has run roughshod over religion, making it “hate speech” to share the Christian Gospel to others. However, this is not a problem in general, as the country has become predominantly atheist. Within this culture are those who desire to take VR to the next level: transplanting human brains in order to give people silicon ones that would enable their consciousnesses to live seemingly forever. As physical bodies wear out, minds are incredibly “uploaded” into VR to then be downloaded into new bodies. Abby comes to this transhuman reality with a special mission that will not only affect the lives of those around her, but also the lives of the entire culture. I was attracted to The Last Christian not only for its science fiction theme, but also because of the technological and worldview issues surrounding the story. David Gregory’s America seems so far removed from our current way of life, but it's easy to see how we could easily venture down the same road. The Christian worldview is becoming an object of disdain for many, and technology is advancing at an incredible rate. The Last Christian was a fun and entertaining read. It’s a science fiction thriller with Christian apologetics mixed in. Although it was certainly a page-turner, it also caused me to really think about some serious issues in our culture today. This novel would be great for those studying apologetics or for those simply considering the Christian faith. Parents should also know that while no explicit details are given, there are occasional mentions of Virtual Reality sexual issues. As a blogger, DVD reviewer and iPod user, I’m not one to overly malign technology. But as with most things in life, it’s very easy for good things to be warped and used in detrimental ways. The Last Christian illustrates how things could go horribly wrong if we aren’t careful with the choices we’re making in technological advances. David Gregory also shares the real (and not Virtual) life we can have with Christ living within us. Through Him will we find not only eternal life, but a fulfilling reality as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The Last Christian, the latest from author David Gregory, is a story about a brave new world so overrun by technology that people have lost their connection to God. In fact, by 2088, Christianity is viewed by most Americans as an antiquated religion based on superstition. The remaining Christians are called “religionists” and treated as radicals. Humans interact widely in virtual reality (VR) using neural implants surgically inserted into their brains. Sound complicated? It is. As the first trans The Last Christian, the latest from author David Gregory, is a story about a brave new world so overrun by technology that people have lost their connection to God. In fact, by 2088, Christianity is viewed by most Americans as an antiquated religion based on superstition. The remaining Christians are called “religionists” and treated as radicals. Humans interact widely in virtual reality (VR) using neural implants surgically inserted into their brains. Sound complicated? It is. As the first trans-human is unveiled, that is, a human who has a biological body and a silicon brain, 34 year-old Abby Caldwell emerges from the Papua New Guinea jungles for the first time in her life. Raised by Christian missionaries in a tribe closed off from the rest of civilization, Abby seeks medical attention as her entire tribe falls victim to a deadly illness. Now homeless, Abby engages on a journey of her own to the United States in hopes of sharing the gospel with the deeply irreligious nation. During her journeys, Abby meets up with several characters—both good and evil who help her on her quest. Most notably, Abby ends up in the arms of college professor, Creighton Daniels, who is the only character to speak in first person, which goes strangely unexplained. Like the other characters in The Last Christian, Abby is an underdeveloped female character, who seems like a “nice gal” that all the male characters want to rescue because “there’s something special about her.” Obviously, Christians are to recognize this as her Christ-likeness. While the book held my interest, my lack of interest in the characters made me care little about what happened to them. My main interest, besides writing the review, was to examine the underlying message of how technology can erode our minds to the very point in which we can no longer sense God’s presence due to an overload of information. The author’s point, I believe, was to show us that life cannot last forever on this earth, and man’s attempts to achieve immortality are foolish. But the convoluted plot was part thriller, part witnessing tract, part philosophy, and a lesson on using technology wisely. I think there was a bit of romance thrown in there, too. Gregory tries to accomplish too much in one book. What could have been an excellent book comes up short, though the ethical issues about life and artificial intelligence are quite interesting. Personally, I’d just rather reread Brave New World.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy J. Hoffman

    MY REVIEW: This book will keep you on the edge of your seat! Wow! It's full of suspense, intrigue, and hope in dire times. This genre is not normally something I look to read, but this story was captivating and interesting to read. I enjoyed the thick plot, the deep characters, and the well written story. The Last Christian is not only a good story, but also reminder to those of us to stand up for what is right. The look into the future with this book gave me a weird feeling and was sobering, but MY REVIEW: This book will keep you on the edge of your seat! Wow! It's full of suspense, intrigue, and hope in dire times. This genre is not normally something I look to read, but this story was captivating and interesting to read. I enjoyed the thick plot, the deep characters, and the well written story. The Last Christian is not only a good story, but also reminder to those of us to stand up for what is right. The look into the future with this book gave me a weird feeling and was sobering, but also believable. Anyone who enjoys a good mystery, a science novel, or futuristic fiction will have fun reading this book. BOOK OVERVIEW: In the future, it’s possible to live forever—but at what cost? A.D. 2088. Missionary daughter Abigail Caldwell emerges from the jungle for the first time in her thirty-four years, the sole survivor of a mysterious disease that killed her village. Abby goes to America, only to discover a nation where Christianity has completely died out. A curious message from her grandfather assigns her a surprising mission: re-introduce the Christian faith in America, no matter how insurmountable the odds. But a larger threat looms. The world's leading artificial intelligence industrialist has perfected a technique for downloading the human brain into a silicon form. Brain transplants have begun, and with them comes the potential of eliminating physical death altogether—but at what expense? As Abby navigates a society grown more addicted to stimulating the body than nurturing the soul, she and Creighton Daniels, a historian troubled by his father's unexpected death, become unwitting targets of powerful men who will stop at nothing to further their nefarious goals. Hanging in the balance—the spiritual future of all humanity. In this fast-paced thriller, startling near-future science collides with thought-provoking religious themes to create a spell-binding "what-if?" novel.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    What if you were the last Christian on the face of the earth? What would you do? That's how it is Abby. She's grown up on an island in Papau New Guinea and when her tribe is all murdered, she goes to America to try to find out why. It's like stepping into a Brave New World for her. Everything is so different and no one believes in God whatsoever. Virtual reality is an easy escape, cars are automated, and people communicate through taps on a grid system. Abby's cousin Lauren is her only remaining What if you were the last Christian on the face of the earth? What would you do? That's how it is Abby. She's grown up on an island in Papau New Guinea and when her tribe is all murdered, she goes to America to try to find out why. It's like stepping into a Brave New World for her. Everything is so different and no one believes in God whatsoever. Virtual reality is an easy escape, cars are automated, and people communicate through taps on a grid system. Abby's cousin Lauren is her only remaining family and Lauren is too busy in her political campaign to give Abby the time of day...unless of course it's to tell her not to talk about her Christianity. Lauren feels it will not bode well for her to be connected to this religious zealot. Lauren's life partner Sabin takes Abby under his wing and begins to help Abby adjust to life outside of the tribe. Lots of mystery and suspense fill this book that could be compared to Brave New World (which I absolutely hated by the way...maybe because it was REQUIRED reading in school and I don't like people telling me what to read?!?!) I could have read this book so much faster but it was one of those books that I didn't want to end so I read it slower! It is very thought provoking, even though fiction, and I pondered many points of the book. What would I do if I was the last Christian on the Earth? What if technology was really that advanced as it was in this book and I could do a brain transplant? Would I do it? I pondered these questions on so many different angles and it's a book that will stick with me for quite some time. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys utopian/dystopian society, a good suspense, and a deep thought provoking novel!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie G

    Can I just tell you guys how excited I am about this book? I feel like I've read a string of Christian fiction lately that has been somewhat enjoyable, but the same old, same old. Some better than others, but it's all still been done before over and over. Blah. So when Waterbrook/Multnomah sent me The Last Christian, I was pretty excited. I've never read dystopic/futuristic Christian fiction. It's actually original! It hasn't been done a million times over! The entire book was really reminiscent Can I just tell you guys how excited I am about this book? I feel like I've read a string of Christian fiction lately that has been somewhat enjoyable, but the same old, same old. Some better than others, but it's all still been done before over and over. Blah. So when Waterbrook/Multnomah sent me The Last Christian, I was pretty excited. I've never read dystopic/futuristic Christian fiction. It's actually original! It hasn't been done a million times over! The entire book was really reminiscent of the Space Trilogy by CS Lewis, but also completely unique. The basic plot is that Christianity completely dies out in America. A child of missionaries in the jungle of Papua New Guinea who hasn't been exposed to any outside cultures emerges when her entire tribe is killed by a mysterious disease. She returns to America and discovers a conspiracy involving a high-tech neuroscience group who has discovered a way to replace the human brain and provide the potential for eternal life - but killing the soul in the process. Yeah, ok it's a little far-fetched. And there were some writing issues that I think could have been worked on. But I really want to focus on the positive and the fact that someone is doing something new finally. We're off the whole Amish people, orphan train, utopian Christian romance where we clutch our pearls at the thought of premarital sex or alcohol. This author portrays real life and real people who aren't perfect and does it in a completely original story. It's a great book that shows what could happen to Christianity if things continue the way they are now but doesn't sermonize. It doesn't necessarily have a happy ending. I almost passed out when I got to the ending and people didn't become Christians and some of them died. It was believable and did I mention creative?? I'm so excited to see something new in this genre and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the idea of doing something original spreads.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cafelilybookreviews

    I’m usually not one to read anything in the “science fiction” genre but I have to admit – The Last Christian intrigued me, made me *think* and kept me reading! Imagine suddenly waking up 30 years from now and having technology so advanced that humans are able to have brain transplants, the internet has been replaced with something bigger and better, cars no longer rely on drivers and virtual reality visits are a way of life. And the biggest change of all? Christianity is pretty much obsolete. This I’m usually not one to read anything in the “science fiction” genre but I have to admit – The Last Christian intrigued me, made me *think* and kept me reading! Imagine suddenly waking up 30 years from now and having technology so advanced that humans are able to have brain transplants, the internet has been replaced with something bigger and better, cars no longer rely on drivers and virtual reality visits are a way of life. And the biggest change of all? Christianity is pretty much obsolete. This is exactly what happens to Abigail Caldwell who comes to America for the first time in 34 years when her tribe in Papua New Guinea is mysteriously wiped out from what appears to be an illness. Although Abigail hasn’t been asleep – she’s had no contact with the outside world. Born and raised in the jungle, Abigail has been carrying on the missionary work of her parents. When the mysterious illness kills her adopted daughter and the rest of her tribe, Abigail has no choice but to stay with her cousin in the United States. Without any knowledge of American customs, manners, practices or technology, Abigail feels like a complete outsider as she’s forced to live amongst civilization. Abigail risks imprisonment (or possibly worse) as she shares her faith and attempts to spread the Gospel in a very cold and God-less nation, hoping to re-ignite Christianity in America. The biggest twist for me was the ending which was not wrapped up as neat and tidy as I expected. Although I thought I knew where the story was headed, I enjoyed being caught off guard. This medical science fiction story offers up suspense, crime, murder, romance and makes you think outside the box when it comes to the future possibilities of modern science. An exciting, fast-paced, page turner not to be missed!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a very, very good book! It jumps right into the action, and never slows down! The characters are very well-developed, and quite interesting people. The premise, of a future without God in America is such a scary idea. And the thought of life being so computerized – right down to one’s brain – just a scary, scary thought! I like how Gregory handled this and brought forward some serious spiritual questions. In such a society, would we completely sever our connection with God? Would the lo This was a very, very good book! It jumps right into the action, and never slows down! The characters are very well-developed, and quite interesting people. The premise, of a future without God in America is such a scary idea. And the thought of life being so computerized – right down to one’s brain – just a scary, scary thought! I like how Gregory handled this and brought forward some serious spiritual questions. In such a society, would we completely sever our connection with God? Would the loss of our physical brain (in exchange for a synthetic one) lead to the loss of life with God? That is such an interesting question. I’ve always thought of the mind and spirit separate from each other. So, why would the loss of the physical brain (while retaining one’s memories and everything stored in one’s brain) lead to the loss of one’s connection with God? Wouldn’t that imply that the spirit and the brain are inextricably connected? If that’s the case, then can we really call them separate entities? But, I am getting sidetracked! That’s not the point of this novel. At least I don’t think it is. This novel was very good. I (mostly) liked how everything came together. There were a few things I didn’t like, but I think it’s just because I wanted to see something else happen. I didn’t like Abby’s exit from the story, nor did I like that we don’t see what Creighton decides in regards to God. I felt like there were still one or two loose ends at the end. And that makes me wonder: Does Gregory plan to write a sequel? If so, I wouldn’t mind!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Barrett

    Christian Science Fiction with a twist, because in 2088 Christianity in America in a thing of the past. Artificial Intelligence is common place, and Virtual Reality is where most people spend their time. 34 year old Abby Caldwell, born to missionary parents, spent her entire life in an isolated jungle village in New Guinea. She leaves the village to get help when the villagers mysteriously start dying. She hopes to find the answer in America. There is also another reason to go to America: her gr Christian Science Fiction with a twist, because in 2088 Christianity in America in a thing of the past. Artificial Intelligence is common place, and Virtual Reality is where most people spend their time. 34 year old Abby Caldwell, born to missionary parents, spent her entire life in an isolated jungle village in New Guinea. She leaves the village to get help when the villagers mysteriously start dying. She hopes to find the answer in America. There is also another reason to go to America: her grandfather left her a message about what was happening to Christianity—a message posted 16 years earlier on the Grid. History Professor Dr. Creighton Daniels comes across a story on the Grid about Abby returning to America, and as an expert in historical religion, he is intrigued by her story. As he contemplates meeting her, he also comes across a message from his recently deceased father and slowly realizes that his father and her grandfather knew each other. David Gregory’s well researched novel, took me into a world I never want to see—a world where speaking about God can get you arrested. A society that does whatever it wants in VR, and an individual’s wants are more important than the family. Where AI, taken to the limit, is no longer used for limb replacements and to help people with sight and hearing, but has industrialists funding silicon brain transplants to make people transhuman. A brilliantly written, futuristic thriller that leaves you questioning what is important in life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Abigail Caldwell had no idea what she was getting into as she paddled her canoe down the jungle rivers in Papua New Guinea. All she knew was she had to save her tribe and to do that, she needed to get help. Even her daughter, Miraba needed her help. The expedition for aid turns into a life changing event for Abby as she not only leaves the only life she has ever known, but travels to a country so technologically advanced that the population has explained away God--and it's her responsibility to Abigail Caldwell had no idea what she was getting into as she paddled her canoe down the jungle rivers in Papua New Guinea. All she knew was she had to save her tribe and to do that, she needed to get help. Even her daughter, Miraba needed her help. The expedition for aid turns into a life changing event for Abby as she not only leaves the only life she has ever known, but travels to a country so technologically advanced that the population has explained away God--and it's her responsibility to bring them back to their original faith. Follow Abby on a suspense-filled thriller that will leave you breathless until the very end! Science fiction is not normally a genre I would even go near, but the blend of faith and science posed in the description of this book enticed me, and I was not disappointed! This plots begins thickly and strongly and carries through until the very last pages. There is not a wasted word in this entire book in my opinion. The characters are well-rounded and deep. Gregory weaves an enticing, yet believable tale of the characters as well as makes the science gobbledygook understandable to my non-scientific mind. He even weaves in sound Biblical truth that challenged me to live out my faith in a more passive way. (I know that sounds opposite to what Christianity is about, but just read the book and you will know exactly what I am talking about.) A copy of this book was provided by Waterbrook Press for review purposes. Thank you!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    The Last Christian is a novel set in 2088. After tragedy hits the tribe she's been living with in New Guinea, Abigail Caldwell returns to America, following a 16 year old message from her grandparents to bring Christianity back to America! Americans have neural implants; they live and communicate largely through virtual reality, and the newest development in technology and medicine is brain transplants, utilizing silicon brains. Some believe that this could eliminate death. What a thought provoki The Last Christian is a novel set in 2088. After tragedy hits the tribe she's been living with in New Guinea, Abigail Caldwell returns to America, following a 16 year old message from her grandparents to bring Christianity back to America! Americans have neural implants; they live and communicate largely through virtual reality, and the newest development in technology and medicine is brain transplants, utilizing silicon brains. Some believe that this could eliminate death. What a thought provoking book! I truly enjoyed it. I made a connection with the characters; I was engaged in the storyline. The theme of Jesus is the Life was uniquely delivered, and there was a strong message of Jesus as the way to salvation. The setting in the year 2088 raised questions about where society will be at that time, in technology, medicine, faith. How will the church change in the coming years; how has it already begun to change? Where are the current trends in medicine and/or technology leading us, and how do the those changes correlate with the changes in society's belief in Jesus! I stopped reading to discuss issues the book raised with my husband; I was brought to tears at times when Abby shared the gospel. I was surprised, but not disappointed with the ending. Because of the strong theme, and contemplative questions it raises, I would probably rank this as one of my top books for the year.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Despite not normally being a science fiction fan, I really enjoyed this - perhaps because it wasn’t pure science fiction. I really enjoyed the sections from Abigail’s point of view (missionary born among the Inisi tribe in Papua New Guinea until her tribe all die from some mystery illness after which she visits her cousin in the USA) and the exploration of some ideas of future trends was interesting (although I would probably only reluctantly embrace some of them!) - set in 2088, there are ideas Despite not normally being a science fiction fan, I really enjoyed this - perhaps because it wasn’t pure science fiction. I really enjoyed the sections from Abigail’s point of view (missionary born among the Inisi tribe in Papua New Guinea until her tribe all die from some mystery illness after which she visits her cousin in the USA) and the exploration of some ideas of future trends was interesting (although I would probably only reluctantly embrace some of them!) - set in 2088, there are ideas such as being able to interact with people in virtual reality, talk to people who aren’t present and see them without the use of a physical screen (like Skype but without the computer, I guess), driverless cars (although they sound like they aren’t too far away, even in 2016), and so on. There are no paper books, which would greatly distress me! One of the biggest future trends involved in the plot is that of artificial intelligence and the ability to transplant a biological brain with an artificial brain which would enable to recipient to “live” forever. I loved reading of Abigail’s difficulties transitioning into a modern society after living in the jungle all her life and being unfamiliar with modern technologies. I loved her faith and her doubts. Despite the book’s setting beyond my life span, and the differences between Abigail’s situation and mine, there were still some aspects that resonated with me and that I could relate to. I found this one difficult to put down!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Stiles

    What an awesome look at what our future might hold. Abby is an American raised in isolation with the Inisi tribe. When her people start dying she leaves the village and seeks help not knowing who to trust. Upon returning to the village she finds all have perished. No one can explain the strange illness that killed everyone in her village and no one can explain why she alone survived. After receiving a strange message from her grandfather, Abby goes to America to bring Christianity back to a nati What an awesome look at what our future might hold. Abby is an American raised in isolation with the Inisi tribe. When her people start dying she leaves the village and seeks help not knowing who to trust. Upon returning to the village she finds all have perished. No one can explain the strange illness that killed everyone in her village and no one can explain why she alone survived. After receiving a strange message from her grandfather, Abby goes to America to bring Christianity back to a nation that has rejected it. She finds the America she once heard about with its religious freedoms, no longer exists. She takes up the mission to bring Christianity back to these people and uncovers a hornets nest that will put her own life at risk. I felt sorry for her for her constant loss. I was reminded of Job who lost everything and yet remained faithful to God. Abby was a modern day Job. She was willing to push her own grief and sadness away for a higher purpose. The marriage of Religious beliefs and Technology proved to be a thought provoking avenue to travel. I loved a lot of the technology of the year 2088. It made me realize that we are only 78 years away from that date and the possibilities now. This was an absolutely thrilling book to read and I can't wait to pass it to my friends. This is a must read for anyone who loves Science Fiction

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Defoy

    This book was amazing. It had a little of everything in it. The technical aspect of the book was very interesting to me. The idea that all people can be connected to each other constantly was very interesting. It added a new level of intrigue to the story. In this story technology has tried to rid the world of the social ills that had once existed. However it seems that technology has taken one thing away from the culture... The story was pretty faced paced, right from the beginning. And while th This book was amazing. It had a little of everything in it. The technical aspect of the book was very interesting to me. The idea that all people can be connected to each other constantly was very interesting. It added a new level of intrigue to the story. In this story technology has tried to rid the world of the social ills that had once existed. However it seems that technology has taken one thing away from the culture... The story was pretty faced paced, right from the beginning. And while the technology was really futuristic it was feasible. I think I was able to understand the technology because it is, I think, where technology is currently heading, so it wasn't difficult to imagine. I loved how the story combined the technological society, and that of a non-technological religious society. Seeing the differences between the religious society and the technological society was quite eye opening. The path that was explained in the book as to how society became non-religious is very sobering. The writing was very good. It was easy for me to connect to the characters in this story. They were well written and well developed. I loved Abby, based on the culture she was thrown into she was quite naive, however she was actually a very intelligent character. I really loved this story. I was so easily drawn in to it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda B

    In the future, it’s possible to live forever—but at what cost? The year is A.D. 2088, and Christianity has died in America. The Last Christian is an interesting look at a futuristic world where Christianity has almost died out. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Abigail Caldwell has lost her family and her entire village from a mysterious brain disease. She receives a unexpected 16 year-old recorded message from her grandfather asking her to go to America and spread the gospel. Is Abby ready for In the future, it’s possible to live forever—but at what cost? The year is A.D. 2088, and Christianity has died in America. The Last Christian is an interesting look at a futuristic world where Christianity has almost died out. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Abigail Caldwell has lost her family and her entire village from a mysterious brain disease. She receives a unexpected 16 year-old recorded message from her grandfather asking her to go to America and spread the gospel. Is Abby ready for the danger and does she really understand the gospel message she has known her whole life? In this future time where there are self-driving cars, common virtual reality, and brain transplants, Christianity is considered hate speech. Abby has a choice to make – flee the country or face arrest. The story is rather profound when you think of the way things are already going in America, and it will make you reflect on the message. I get a little nervous when an author wants to add to the gospel message, but I think the author just wanted to convey the message of grace and not works. The story has action, adventure and a great message. I really was not expecting the twist at the end!

  30. 4 out of 5

    librarian4Him02

    Why I started reading: A friend gave me an ARC of this book and it had been on my to-be-read shelf for quite awhile. When I learned it was nominated for a Christy, I thought I should get around to reading it. Plot: Abby Caldwell, raised in an isolated jngle tribe flees to the outside world to seek help ofr her tribe when a mysterious illness sweepstrough her village. what she emerges into is a world where technology rules, human brains can now be replaced with a silcon replica, and God is a thing Why I started reading: A friend gave me an ARC of this book and it had been on my to-be-read shelf for quite awhile. When I learned it was nominated for a Christy, I thought I should get around to reading it. Plot: Abby Caldwell, raised in an isolated jngle tribe flees to the outside world to seek help ofr her tribe when a mysterious illness sweepstrough her village. what she emerges into is a world where technology rules, human brains can now be replaced with a silcon replica, and God is a thing of the past. Abby is just about the last Christian on the planet, but God calls her to speak boldly for Him in a country that has no interest in hearing. Why I kept reading: The fast-paced, movie-style plot was suspenseful and a bit frightening at times. Plus, I wanted to know how the characters would fare at the end of the book. I think the theology of the book was a bit off in some places. Outside of that, though, I like that the author kept me guessing about the loyalties of some characters. He wove a number of story lines together quite neatly and left the reader both hopeful and war of what future evil might rear its ugly head after the novel's ending. Recommended for those who like fiction set in the future. Also to fans of books like the Left Behind series.

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