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Winterflight [Paperback]

Joseph Bayly
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 2006
What does it mean to live as a Christian under a government with laws contrary to God's laws? More relevant today than when it was first published 25 years ago. Imagine an America not too many years distant. An America where abortion is the rule for imperfect fetuses and euthanasia is mandatory at age 75. Jon and Grace Stanton's allefiance to God is about to be put to the ultimate test in this future society. As they struggle to protect two members of their family from the law of the land, they must rely on each other and their fatih as they never have before. This novel, first published in 1981, seems increasingly predictive in its description of a world where morality is dictated by technology rather than the Word of God.

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From Library Journal

In a frightening vision of the immediate future (and an anti-abortion parable originally published in 1981), Bayly introduces Jonathan and Grace Stanton, whose six-year-old son has mild hemophilia, a treatable condition. But the advent of gene testing some 20 years earlier prevents genetic abnormalities through U.S. government-sanctioned abortions. Conditions that manifest themselves after the birth of a child are a virtual death sentence; the child is taken to a body bank to be kept alive, for years if needed, until all usable parts have been harvested for others. There are no happy endings here, and Christians are willing participants in this brave new world. Highly emotional and barbarously realistic, given the potential of current medical advances, Bayly's future forces Christians to make a choice to follow the latest medical intervention blindly or open their eyes and fight for the moral choice. Essential for all Christian fiction collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable, but uncomfortable June 7 2008
Format:Paperback
This book has been on my "to be read" list for years. I finally got my hands on a copy this year, and it's not at all what I expected. On the basis of the title, and the plot synopses I had read, I was expecting the kind of story you find in lower quality "end times" thrillers. In short, I read this book in for the sake of completeness, not because I thought it was going to be any good.

Well, I was wrong, and I'm big enough to admit it. Yes, Bayly does introduce surveillance technology, and plays with it for a little bit, and yes, he does have people checking their clothes for tiny bugging devices, and yet still making telephone calls without taking any precautions at all. But pretty soon, he stops playing around with gizmos and gets down to the heart of the story. And the heart of the story is what both makes and breaks this book.

This is a wonderful book which makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Bayly refuses to play any of the games which so many authors resort to in order to please the clientele in Christian bookstores. Nobody gets converted, nobody falls in love, and there is no happy ending. Nor are Christians (not even "the right kind of Christians") portrayed as fearless, flawless, jut-jawed heroes. In short, almost nobody comes out looking good in this book: Christians display cowardice, rationalise evil things perpetrated by society (as long as those evil things don't apply to them), falsely accuse others, swear... in short, they're human. If the mirror Bayly holds up to the reader is unflattering, at least it's accurate. I have been saying for some time that what Christian fiction needs is fewer books which aim to "evangelise" non-Christians who would never be caught dead reading them, and more books which challenge Christians to do better in our Christian walk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good wake up call for today's slippery-slope culture. June 27 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading this book ten years ago left me thinking that the mass euthanasia of our elderly and genetically impure could never happen. Now in the days of Dr. Kevorkian, and the increasing amount of governmental controls over our society, the book's content could become more of a reality than we would have expected. If you want to peek at future possibilities based on today's moral choices, this book will certainly make you think twice about the things our culture deems to be ethical now. Just what are we paving the way for??? This book gives a plausible answer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Your Eyes! Jan. 30 2005
By Kamisuri Astalis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Through the course of the narrative many questions are raised, many situations are set up, but are left open. Rather than to think this was an error on the part on of the author, this was instead asking a bold "What if..?" these type of events were allowed to unfold without so much of a protest in everyday real life. After all, some practices within todays society go on as if fully accepted without quarrel while others seek the same acceptance, and thus, do the same disrespect to the sanctity of human life the author makes references too.

While I was disturbed by the ending, I fully understand where the grandfather felt there was no other recourse for him or for his grandson. But, isn't that the point?

Where was the Christian witnesses when and where it was needed? Where were his Christian brothers and sisters? All cosy until they happen to be affected by "the termination notices"?

For a society to view all those 75 yrs and older as disposable and all children born with ~any~ type of physical abnormality or condition as defective should that be considered just as, if even not ~more so~ disturbing?

This is a very timely book with a very timely message for all those who cherish the sanctity of human life.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christians should act now May 18 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is a disturbing look at what America might be in the future. 20 years after this book was originally written, I live in a state with legal abortion and legal physician-assisted suicide. An America closer to the one written about in the book than the one in which the author lived. I agree with another review that calls the book a wake up call. The most disturbing part of the book is the failure of the characters in the story to have acted earlier. They were content to live in an America that decided who lived and who didn't untill the ones who were told to die were in their own family. The father in the story, Jon, says that he "is no Dietrich Bonhoeffer." Indeed! Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler's policies of death from the beginning and resisted them untill his execution. Joseph Bayly never lets us forget in the book the parallels he draws between this futuristic America and Nazi Germany. As a medical student and scientist, I found the book to be an important reminder of the implications to today's research and medical practices.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe this was written in 1981. June 15 2005
By Skylark Thibedeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I wouldn't really say this is a great work of fiction nor was it meant to be. I believe that the story is an allegory for the direction that the author saw the country turning.

He envisioned an America where everyone has universal healthcare and no one suffers from the ravages of Tay Sachs, hemophilia, or sickle cell anemia but where those who have these conditions and other congenital deformities are aborted or live Brain Dead in Body Banks ready to 'donate' a body part to those in need.

No one worries about having to live on social security into old age as once you turn 75, the government has you report to a euthanasia center(shades of Edgar G. Robinson in "Soylent Green").

The future he paints is not bright and the ending of the story is not pleasant, but with recent cases in the news and the ascendancy of the culture of abortion and euthanasia the late author may have painted a picture of where we are headed as a society
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A frank depiction of America's culture of death Feb. 10 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a thoughtful book for Christians willing to think about the implications of our society's Faustian bargain with death. Though written in the 1970s, the novel seems prescient in its analysis of where abortion is leading our nation. Some readers may not like the ending: there are always Pollyannas in the evangelical world who think that no Christian novel should ever end unhappily, yet it strikes me that there is no more logical or Biblical ending to such a situation than the one described by the author.
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