An American Prophet and His Message
Written By Rev. Michael Bresciani
Reviewed By Donald James Parker
How do you approach a book written by a self proclaimed prophet? Isn't the claiming of that mantle a bit presumptuous? I've always thought so. I've usually associated those tree-stump prophets with lamentations concerning a dearth of financial resources. So why did I read this book? That's a fair question and the answer is easy to provide. I read articles on the internet by the author and it was evident in what I read that this gentleman was no flimflam man. His low-key delivery and humility, combined with spiritual and practical insight, marked him as a potential real deal. When he offered to send me a copy for free, I jumped at the chance. I sent him two of my books in return. I hope he doesn't feel short changed.
Technically, this book could probably be shot down accurately by a student in a creative writing class. Hurricane Katrina interrupted his editing and caused the book to go out with some spelling and punctuation flaws. It is not a work of literary genius. However, the good news is that it was not intended to be. More good news is that neither is it an illiterate rant. The sole purpose for this author's work was to pass the messages that God has delivered to him. I'm sure a professional soldier could have critiqued David's technique for slinging stones. Jonah would not have been confused with a graduate of the Dale Carnegie course for Winning Friends and Influencing People. Ya think that Rona Barrett and the rest of Hollywood might have frowned upon the birthplace of the king of all kings and his occupation as a lowly carpenter?
After observing God's modus operandi for centuries, we might get the hint that he doesn't package truth in perfect and conspicuous packages. God seems to not be impressed with what impresses his human creations. He seems to just throw truth out on the table without hype and fanfare and expects us to digest it as is without any accompanying condiments such as sugar and spice. Michael delivers God's food for thought in a simple and direct manner. His attitude is that God gave him the word, and he'll deliver it no matter what kind of reception he gets. The first half of the book is about Mike's life, but yet it is not about Mike. It's not even about his role as a prophet. The focus of the book is God's message to mankind. Ironically, while the Shack racks up over a million sales (I heard the figure 6.5 million the other day but can't confirm it) and compels over three thousand people to write reviews on Amazon, Michael's book has not been reviewed by a single person. This will be his first review that I can find. William Paul Young, who is a heck of a nice guy, writes a novel where his protagonist sees the Trinity as a somewhat bizarre cast of humans and people go tulip-mania crazy over it. Reverend Bresciani writes about the times he saw the real Jesus and heard an audible voice giving him instructions.
Sounds like a nutcase, right? Michael is the first one to tell you that he wouldn't have believed it himself if he hadn't lived through it. This is not the story of a boyhood saint. He spent time in a reformatory for stealing from a Catholic church. His conversion story isn't quite up to par with Paul on the road to Damascus, but it is a remarkable tale. Mike spends the first part of the book telling about his growing up years and then his epiphany. This high school dropout became a pastor and started churches. He developed into a writer and has been published in Guideposts and Catholic Digest in addition to the myriad internet sites where his column appears. The good news is that stuff is not really important to him. His goal is to pass along what God shared with him directly and indirectly. The last half of the book is the message concerning the future of the world. He literally has had visions and dreams where he saw the future unfold. I have not been privy to such visions, but through applied research and logic, I share the same concerns as Michael reveals in this book. The prophet's message is often not well received. In a world that is clamoring for comfort and pleasure, a warning about approaching calamity is not going to trigger a visit from the Welcome Wagon. In addition to prophetic warning, Mike dives into the black hole known as "the rapture." He answers questions about the anti-Christ, the timing of the rapture, etcetera. His answers aren't gospel and come with a disclaimer. There are theologians who have waxed more eloquently on the subject. The material could have been organized more efficiently to seem less rambling. After the supernatural stories in the first part, the second half seemed more laborious to peruse.
Thus, this is not a book that will entertain you; all it can do is help you prepare for the future. It might give you more insight into the character of God and bolster your faith. Maybe, just maybe, that is more important than being entertained.
Mike has graciously made his ebook available for free download at http://DonaldJamesParker.com