The Final Summit - Not Quite the Finale

Saturday, November 19, 2011 Vishaal 0 Comments

Summary: Mankind has become a quickly corrupted society and they are on the verge of complete annihilation. They have veered from being a productive, successful society and God has decided that if they do not change they will be destroyed. David Ponder, our hero, is one of the Travelers, a group of people selected to travel through time, many guided by archangel Gabriel, and he is selected along with the other Travelers to meet at the final summit, where a solution must be reached that will bring humanity back to being a successful civilization. What's the catch? They only have five tries.

Truth is, I did not find this work "great" or "classic". I did find it basically entertaining and a quick read. It's not heady or confounding; unfortunately it's not particularly deep, subtle, or complex either. Whereas it did offer an invitation to reflect, the content was not what I personally would consider meaty or profound. I have to believe that it was intended to be an every-man's book of inspiration...and I do mean every MAN. It has a decidedly masculine take on the world. Lots of warriors, football coaches, and politicians among his "wise" assemblage.

It is now 28 years after the events in The Traveler's Gift. David Ponder has used what he was given in that adventure to become very successful. He is approached early on by the archangel Gabriel (who took him on his last adventure) and told that a summit of all other Travelers throughout time is being convened to discuss an important question: "What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?" Ponder, being from the current point in time, is chosen to lead the summit because he represents the everyman (unlike all other Travelers, Ponder has not aspired to greatness) and because he should care the most earnestly about the result of the summit.

Many characters throughout history make appearances in this work. King Solomon is in the stands watching the summit proceedings, as are Anne Frank, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein, to name a few. I would suggest a reader particularly take note of World War II era personality Eric Erickson.

While and entertaining read, this book is quite theologically shallow. Gabriel mentions that in history, God has decided to start over, and says the most recent of such reorganizations took place with the Flood in Genesis. If you want to count Adam and Eve being banned from the Garden of Eden, then I can be okay with this statement, but as it is written, it suggests that there have been several other instances where such events have taken place. Another problem I had with the theology is when Gabriel tells us that current scientists suspect a highly advanced civilization that existed some 30,000 years before the Aztecs and the Incas. As I reread this portion, Gabriel doesn't say that these people are right in their assumption, but being a staunch believer in a young earth (roughly 6,000 years old), this portion rubs me the wrong way. And, by and large, there is little reference to God, Jesus, or the Bible.

All-in-all, the read was enjoyable if you have some time to kill, but there is not much spiritual depth here. If you want to find success here on Earth, you might find some good tips in The Final Summit, but if you want to be great in the kingdom of God, you won't find many answers in this book.