The Searchers: A Quest for faith in the Valley of Doubt
by Joseph Loconte
Picking up this book is a little like starting a new journey and not knowing where you are going or what to expect along the way. I really couldn’t tell at first what was in store for me. Was this a faith memoir? Was it a fictional account of the two men who encountered the risen Messiah on their trek to Emmaus? Was it a theological treatise on faith and doubt in the modern world?
Yes. And no. It’s a unique blend of any number of genres, an intriguing discussion of searching for faith. Each chapter begins with a step on the Emmaus journey, why the men might have been traveling at all, what they might have been feeling, what they talked about on the way, and when they recognized Jesus.
The sections of Scripture become simple springboards from which Loconte launches into discussions about angels, despair, sadness, and evil in the world. He pulls from a variety of resources also, using biography, history, pop culture and the arts to talk about the search of people through generations for hope in the face of doubt and trouble.
For those looking for easy, pat Christian answers to life’s complexities, you won’t find that here. He’s not going to brush over your pain with a shrug and an “oh well, God’s will” kind of answer. Instead, he tackles tough issues with intelligence and honesty.
In the same way, those looking for a strictly Scriptural study on the walk to Emmaus will be disappointed with this book. It’s really less about that story and more about searching for faith in general. As I read, I very much felt like I myself was walking beside Joseph Loconte for an extended journey and as we walked, we discussed life, faith, doubt, pain, evil, religion, the supernatural, and Jesus Himself.
Overall, this book compels the reader to begin a search for faith and hope if he or she hasn’t already. For long-term Christ-followers, it’s an intelligent reminder of our responses to the world, why we believe what we believe, and how to share that with others in an engaging and honest way.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing these things in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”