EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW
SERIES: Constantine’s Empire #2
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
RELEASE DATE: October 12, 2021
The year is AD 316. Imperial persecution has ended, but Christianity’s future still hangs in the balance. Will churches rise in Rome where pagan temples once stood? Will the true Scriptures replace the myths of the gods? Will Jupiter finally bow the knee to the Lord Jesus?
For the first time in history, the Roman emperor supports the church. Bishop Sylvester sends Flavia from her convent to seek Emperor Constantine’s permission to build great churches and determine the canon of Scripture. But the enemies of God are on the move. Joined by Rex, Flavia’s beloved protector who has fought his way out of exile, the two friends cross the empire by land and sea on an epic quest to free the Roman people from the tyranny of the ancient gods.
Bristling with tension and undergirded by impeccable historical research, this tale of courage, defiance, and humble submission to God continues the captivating saga of two unlikely allies in the age of imperial Christianity.
Though I wanted to speak about the terrible thing I had seen, I held my tongue.
At first, I told myself it wasn’t a woman’s place to address such a respectable group of men. This was, after all, a council of eminent bishops and theologians in the catholic church. Who was I to speak before such an august gathering? Just a nun from a faraway island—a mere girl, only twenty years old. Why would they care what I had to say?
Yet in truth, I cannot blame my silence on my female sex, for the catholic church has always welcomed prophetic women into its midst. No, it was more than my feminine soul that silenced me that day. I kept quiet because I felt afraid to do what the Lord was asking. I wasn’t sure my words would be well received. What I had witnessed was shocking, and the accusation I needed to make would have caused a rowdy disturbance. The images were clear enough in my head. But if I had described them to the bishops, I would have had to express my testimony with eloquence and clarity. Further, I would have been submitting my memories to judgment and critique. It scared me, for it seemed too hard to bear.
And so I held my tongue.
Do I wish now that I hadn’t? Looking back, I do. But in that moment, my courage faltered.
Bishop Chrestus of Syracusae was the man who had brought me to Arelate for the important council. “Why me?” I had asked him.
“All the bishops will bring along a few priests or deacons, and some nuns,” he replied. “I have been allowed five assistants by Constantine. We will be staying for several weeks in Gaul, and there are always tasks that need doing. Some will require a woman’s expertise.”
“I understand, Your Holiness, but why me in particular?”
Chrestus looked at me closely, a slight smile on his wise and godly face. He leaned close and raised his wrinkled finger at me. “Because, Flavia, you are a handmaiden of the Lord.”
Bryan Litfin, Every Knee Shall Bow
Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2021. Used by permission.
Bryan Litfin is the author of The Conqueror, Every Knee Shall Bow, and the Chiveis Trilogy, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Early Christian Martyr Stories, After Acts, and Getting to Know the Church Fathers. A former professor of theology at the Moody Bible Institute, Litfin earned his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia and his ThM in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Bryan is head of strategy and advancement at Clapham School, a classical Christian school in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife have two adult children and live in Wheaton, Illinois. Learn more at www.bryanlitfin.com.
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