“The Ambition: A Novel”

It feels good to get lost in a good book every now and then. To have the story sweep you up for so long that it’s hard to remember what day it is when you finally emerge from its pages.

Some might tell you that there is no place on a Christian’s nightstand for a work of fiction. Even Amy Carmichael, pioneer missionary and rescuer of children in India, adamantly said that her children had no need of stories that weren’t true.

There is something to be said for focusing on real-world writing that encourages us in our real-world living, but we can uphold the value of nonfiction books without discrediting fiction. After all, our own real-world stories are written by a magnificent Creator, and as we mirror His creativity, our own real-world life grows richer.

Set in the complicated scenes of Chicago politics and megachurch questions, The Ambition follows its characters as they live out their own ideas of progress through political underhandedness, moral ambiguity, and even a mob hit or two.

The story follows multiple characters, from a visionary pastor to a hesitant-but-growing-bolder deacon to a cynical reporter to a hopeful girlfriend to a guilt-burdened attorney. Everyone had an agenda, a plan—but no one had the power to force reality to fit their ideals. Eventually, as God’s leading becomes more clear, some choose to follow Him and others try to explain it away.

Lee Strobel, known for A Case for Christ and similar books, stepped into the world of fiction with The Ambition. Drawing from his experiences in reporting and megachurch ministry, Strobel shares with us a masterful story that keeps us turning the pages long after we should have set the book down and done our chores. But that’s okay.

Adventures like these are worth the time.

The story itself may be fiction, but the themes and the questions asked are very real. In The Ambition, readers will resonate with characters as they wonder, Where can we find hope for change? Where do we place our hope? How do we get rid of guilt? How do we know what we believe is true?

People around us are searching for these answers, and sometimes we need reminders, too. Like in Strobel’s made-up world, our real-life situations bring up these questions in our hearts. Fiction is a powerful medium to explore these questions and offer deeper insights into the answers.

The Ambition will be a quick read, since you won’t be able to put it down until you have finished it. But the thoughts and characters you find in its pages will linger in you longer than you might think—and that’s a good thing.

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