"Men don't obtain grace by freedom; they obtain freedom by grace." John Calvin
Set amidst the backdrop of the scholarship and humanism of renaissance France, and its love of luxury, power, and decadence, this fast-paced biographical novel on John Calvin is told from the perspective of a rival whose envy escalates to violent intrigue and shameless betrayal. The Betrayal is the tale of the private war of one man who was determined to sell all for a convoluted allegiance to the King of France and the jealous Doctors of the Sorbonne, even if it cost him his own soul. Get set for royal intrigue, desperate escapes, violent martyrdom, hazard-all romance and loss, high-risk debate, and sword-point confession in this tale, one that is at last a story of how God uses the humility and unflinching faithfulness of one man to break down the barrenness and bitterness of another—all accomplished by grace alone.
The Betrayal is a Crossings featured hard-cover book. The first printing of The Betrayal sold out in 5 months. The Betrayal is now published in Dutch as Het verraad.
“Anything Doug Bond writes is, almost now by definition, a fascinating read. But to have his skills attached to the life of John Calvin is a double treat.” JOEL BELZ, founder, World magazine
“If you enjoy reading the fictional works of C. S. Lewis, you will love this book.” BURK PARSONS, editor, Tabletalk magazine
“An exciting read, almost effortlessly and implicitly undoing caricatures about Calvin along the way . . . Calvin and his times brought to life in a page-turner!” JOEL R. BEEKE, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Reviewed by Westminster Seminary California
Bond & Betrayal featured on VISION FORUM Webinar
Susan Hunt, author and Chair of WIC in the PCA wrote, "I just finished reading The Betrayal--thank you, thank you for this wonderful work. I am using Calvin's commentary on Psalms in preparation to teach a women's Bible study this Fall. I knew I would love your book, but I was unprepared for how it made Calvin's commentary come even more alive for me. The book has drawn me to Calvin's words with a deeper gratitude than ever before. I am grateful."
Burk Parsons, editor of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, Doxology says, "With masterful insight, Douglas Bond offers us an illuminating portrait of the life, ministry, and theology of John Calvin. For readers of all ages, this well-researched, historical fiction takes us back to the sixteenth-century Reformation as if we were eye-witnesses of all that God accomplished in and through the life of His humble servant John Calvin. If you enjoy reading the fictional works of C. S. Lewis, you will love this book."
Joel Beeke, who has written several books on Calvin and Calvinism writes, "Douglas Bond introduces John Calvin to us in a gripping way, colorfully taking us back to Geneva and its times, unveiling Calvin as the principled man of action, commitment, and love that he was. The Betrayal makes for an exciting read, showing the great Reformer's heart for theology, piety, and doxology, while almost effortlessly and implicitly undoing caricatures about Calvin along the way. If you want Calvin and his times brought to life in a page-turner, this is the book for you!"
David Hall, author and leader of Calvin500, writes "Douglas Bond's latest novel introduces many to a prejudicially ignored character: John Calvin. This historical fiction brings Calvin back from an unwarranted oblivion. Thanks to Bond's vivid writing style and thorough acquaintance with the period, readers now have a looking glass into the life and history of a great man. I am pleased to commend this fine book to readers."
Read an excerpt from Bond's best-selling novel, THE BETRAYAL
"I just finished reading The Betrayal and was blown away by how good it was. I had a hard time putting it down." Pastor Tito Lyro
My New Gown
With the thud of that door and the clattering of the latch and lock, I felt suddenly alone in a strange world, barred from the glowing light within, shut out from the familial warmth enfolding my rival. While Calvin was being thus welcomed by his relations, I pondered the cruel blows fate had dealt my family. And now there was no one else to feel the bludgeoning of those blows—but I. I alone remained of what had been, for all its disappointment, my family. Infected with these thoughts, a bitterness I felt certain I was powerless to suppress descended upon me.
Yet did I reason with myself: I had escaped the contagion. I was alive. But as I ruminated thus upon my escape, my mind grew heavier. I wanted to blame another for my misfortunes, but the deepest pang of all came from within my own bosom. At root, I was no better than the bishop and his priests, than the nobles, than the wealthy merchants in their silk and ermine gowns. Had any of my family remained alive, I knew deep within me, I would have, nevertheless, abandoned them for a carriage ride to Paris and safety, or so I then thought it would afford me.
What was the crime in that? I had merely longed to live, I further reasoned with myself. Would it have been such a betrayal of my family to want life, to choose to live, rather than to die in such a plague-infested place? I could not have saved them. What could I have done? It was futile speculation, I knew. Nevertheless, I indulged myself in it with, perhaps, some notion of assuaging what remained of a rapidly tottering conscience. I desperately tried not to care about any of this. My family, my old life, it was all dead to me now.
But death is a persistent companion, I have learned, not so easy a one to appease by striking hands in a truce. My resolves produced for me no tangible degree of comfort. In my troubled state of mind, a part of me longed to pray. I was troubled to recall my cry as I ran through the streets of Noyon but hours ago—was that a praying that was answered? Perhaps I would have met the carriage in any event, by my own cleverness and swiftness of foot.
Privileged Calvin had every reason to pray and revel in God’s kindnesses, but I, that night, looked heavenward with a scowl. I had delivered myself by myself, with no help from God, such were the assertions of an ungrateful mind. And in this frame of mind, I then, in a manner of speaking, prayed.
“God above, if you are there, you are most unkind to me.” I am ashamed to recollect such praying, yet did I then persist in it. “Therefore, will I not serve you, will I not worship you, will I not obey you. Heretofore, I give of myself to those powers that most work against you, against your will and ways, and against your servants.”
It was a prayer that invigorated me, made me feel emancipated from divine oppression and injustice, the master of myself and my fortunes, the bold possessor of new freedoms. But when the first flush of my defiance began to fade, I felt cold and empty inside.
Alone I wandered the streets of that vast city, palatial buildings, grand churches, luxurious hotels lining the streets of its fashionable districts. Then my feet took me to the Petit Pont where from the lingering smells, I was to conclude that there street merchants must regularly sell fowls and eggs, perhaps other meats. From there I wandered into the Place Maubert where I gulped in the aromas of baked bread. Then I strode along the wall encircling the city, a wall sturdy and broad, sufficiently wide for a vender to drive his cart, or a defender to position his cannon....