Christian Historical Novel Addresses Incarnational Native American Ministry, Assimilation, and Spiritual Warfare

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Redemption Press

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the river west

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – One definition of assimilation is “to absorb into the culture or mores of a population or group,” according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. While assimilation in Native American ministry often refers to Native Americans assimilating to white culture, the hero of a new Christian Native American historical fiction release presents a different viewpoint.

In The River West (Redemption Press), Allen Hartman, a missionary to the Arapaho in the early 1840s who practices “incarnational ministry,” is criticized by his denomination for assimilating too well to the culture where he is ministering. This third book in the Two Rivers trilogy, continues the adventures of Hartman and his friend, Negro pastor Deacon Abraham, on a journey that thrusts them into spiritual warfare, a fight for souls, and an ultimate showdown with evil forces.

Rescued from a holding cell in the Masonic Temple, missionary Allen Hartman is on the Natchez Trace heading back to his mission in Arapaho country. But when the evil, black-arts-practicing La Marque sends a slavecatcher and assassin to kill him and forcibly return his rescued friend and Negro pastor Deacon Abraham to slavery in the swamp plantation, Allen faces the ultimate spiritual battle.

Will Allen clear his name from false accusation so he can remain among the people to which he is called, and realize a future with Moon Cloud, the Arapaho woman he loves? In The River West young missionary Allen Hartman learns that “greater love” has a costly price as he battles evil in the Lord’s strength and way, not his own.

Author Michael W. Henry combines his cross-cultural experience in the Dominican Republic and Mexico with ministry experience in spiritual warfare and deliverance in this exciting and adventurous historical novel with deep spiritual undertones.


Michael W. Henry has a DM in theology from Fuller Seminary. A retired missionary and pastor, his ministry focus is now in inner healing, deliverance, and spiritual formation. He lives in the mountains of Washington State with his wife of over forty years, where they enjoy hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing together. This is the third book of the Two Rivers trilogy, in addition to Two Rivers and Down the River.

For interviews, please contact


Instagram: mike.henry6

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. How do you describe The River West? Is it an adventure story? A Christian historical fiction tale? A primer on intercessory prayer?
  2. This is the third book in your trilogy. What are some of the truths the main character Allen Hartman has personally learned over the series?
  3. Allen practices “incarnational ministry,” how did your own missionary experience inform your writing?
  4. The three books in this series all deal with spiritual warfare and intercessory prayer. How is what the characters encounter requiring spiritual warfare different in The River West from the others?
  5. What do you think is important for all Christians to know about spiritual warfare?
  6. Are you working on a writing project that you can tell us about?—perhaps a new series?
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Christian Historical Novel Addresses Incarnational Native American Ministry, Assimilation, and Spiritual Warfare

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Redemption Press

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