Radical Relationships~ Insights from Red by Ted Dekker

An Essay By Julie // 8/22/2009

[This essay contains massive spoilers from Red, middle novel of Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy. DO NOT read if you haven’t read the book.]


When I first read Red, I thought it was really good, but found the character Justin confusing. His teachings of peace with the Scabs seemed heretical, while I sensed hypocrisy in the Great Romance.

But one scene changed that. It was the closest I’ve ever come to unity with a fictional character. My eyes sprang ahead…

Justin was the boy, and the boy was Elyon. Elyon had just touched her. Kissed her forehead! If she had known---

She groaned past a terrible ache that filled her throat. “Elyonnn!”

Red, page 285

In that one moment, I saw the rest of the story laid out like a map—betrayal, sacrificial death, resurrection. Rachel’s longing welled in my heart. I had misjudged Justin as a foe, and now I saw the price he’d pay.

I’ve seen aspects of Jesus in other fantasy characters—Aslan, Gandalf—but Justin exploded like fireworks. His strange teachings, confusing ways—that’s what we forget about Jesus. The gospels are so familiar we forget how radical his words were. Turning the other cheek, salvation to all who ask—those were as strange to the Jews as welcoming the Horde was to the Forest Guard.

In a letter about Narnia, C.S. Lewis explained that Narnia was an attempt to answer the question ‘how would God save another world like our own from sin?’ Red answers another question, one we don’t even know to ask, ‘how would Jesus’ actions and words appear to the ‘righteous’?’


Nice insight! And glad to

Nice insight! And glad to find another Dekker fan. :0) I'm always struck by the radicalism of the believers in Dekker's books, esp the Circle Trilogy and other pertaining to it. In one way, I think it's perfectly ridiculous that a certain character did what they did--then I realize it makes perfect sense, because in another way we're all called to be as radical as Jesus. I think a lot of the USA's problems could've been fixed a long time ago if we'd been able to stand up.

Heather | Tue, 08/25/2009

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"


Have you heard of Dekker's new book, Green? It comes out in September.  If you join here  [http://www.teddekker.com/readgreen] you can join the Forest Guard for updates. If you do, please put 6992 as referral number.

Julie | Tue, 08/25/2009

Formerly Kestrel


Skin is the only one I've read of his so far. Have any of you read it?

Anonymous | Fri, 08/28/2009

It was exactly the same for

It was exactly the same for me... I was ashamed of myself, too, for not recognizing Justin... I had trusted Thomas Hunter so well that I saw as he saw, or rather, was blinded the way he was blinded.

Reading Ted Dekker... it brings Jesus alive in ways that are so different than things other authors (including me) try, and it truly is radical.

Anna | Sat, 10/31/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Anna, that's dead on. It

Anna, that's dead on. It shows how you can't always trust the good guys either...But Rachelle's recognition is going to be my forensics piece this year.

I've also read BoneMan's Daughter, Adam, Green, the Paradise Novels, blink, Chosen,  Infidel, House, Skin, Obssessed, Thr3e, Thunder of Heaven, When Heaven Weeps, and Heaven's Wager 

Julie | Mon, 11/30/2009

Formerly Kestrel