Set Your Fields on Fire by William Thornton



About the Book

Alex Alterman is a “mystery worshipper” – hired by churches to experience their worship services as a member of the congregation and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Grass growing in the parking lot? Unkempt bathrooms? Bad sound systems? These may turn away people as much as the singing and the sermon. To whom much is given, much is required.
But when Alex and his dedicated band of nitpicking zealots are hired to evaluate a Florida church and its prominent pastor, they are presented with a set of mysteries: Who hired them? And who hired their main competition? And why are they being shadowed by a couple of atheists running a dirt-dealing blog?

Oil spills, dwarf spies, choir room surveillance, church league basketball cheats and parking lot security all combine in a splendid caper that stretches from Wall Street to the beachfront. As Alterman’s group finds itself in the eye of the storm, the work takes on a new dimension as they untangle the reasons they believe in their work, and why they believe at all.

My Review

Set Your Fields on Fire by William Thornton, is unlike any book I have ever read, and the thoughts and emotions evoked are unlike any I have felt.

The premise of Thornton’s book is how a group of mystery worshippers (who knew these even existed, and they do!) are hired to help churches in areas where they are lacking or unknowing. However, there is so very much more to this story.

Everything within the covers of Set Your Fields on Fire serves a purpose – from the character’s names to the pithy and witty t-shirt slogans – and draws you deeper and deeper into the lives of the mystery worshippers, leaving you wanting more. In addition, as you read, you see yourself and your church in the final appraisal, and realize both are lacking.

Near the end of the book, Alex Alterman, owner of the mystery worshippers group, gives advice to one of his clients. He says, “. . . You’re trying to do the right thing, but you’re afraid of making a mistake. You know you have to decide, but you don’t want to make a wrong decision. Fear shouldn’t cancel out your faith. . . when Pontius Pilate sent Jesus away to be executed and washed his hands of Him, that was a decision. It was indecision, but it was still a decision. That’s the way people react today. They think there’s something special about Jesus, but in the end, they just send Him away.”  Alterman succinctly nails the nature of our human timidity.

Set Your Fields will leave you pondering the book, your church and most especially, your own life long after you have read the last page.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

William Thornton is an award-winning writer, journalist and a Sunday School teacher. He lives in Alabama with his wife and daughter.

Read the first chapter free online:

If you want to order it:


About RobbyeFaye

An avid reader, homemaker and grandmother. I try to be as real, honest and thought provoking as possible. My blog is primarily devoted to book reviews, but at times it has stretched and grown, as it ebbs and flows with me. However, I still read a lot and review the books I read. Loving life and Jesus Christ.
This entry was posted in Books, reviews and more. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Set Your Fields on Fire by William Thornton

  1. Kit says:

    Hi RobbyeFaye.
    It is great to see you back. I’m glad you are feeling better.
    What an interesting premise for a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, and for another interesting review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gail Johnson says:

    Yay! You’re back! Interesting book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • RobbyeFaye says:

      Hi, Gail!
      Yes, I am back, thank you!
      It is a very engrossing, compelling book. I think it is going to win my must read of the year award. (Which I decided to have after reading this book!!)
      It’s great to “see and talk” to you again.
      God’s Blessings!!!


  4. Pingback: Blog Networking: 1/27/17 | Dream Big, Dream Often

  5. Kev says:

    An interesting review, Robbye. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janice Wald says:

    I have not heard of this book. I teach English so I think it’s wonderful you are promoting literacy at your site.
    I met you on Danny Ray’s site. Congratulations on being his featured blogger. I was his featured blogger too! Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about. I blog over at

    Liked by 1 person

Hit me with your first thought!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s