Hope is the one who knocks — The Light is Winning by Zach Hoag Book Review

A review of Zach Hoag’s “The Light is Winning”

Logan Rowland
Jul 22, 2017 · 3 min read

I was once told faith was like climbing a never ending mountain. Making the summit is not the completion of faith, rather its the decision to keep climbing with no peak in sight.

I’ve been familiar with the mountain of faith all my life.

I’ve traversed its rocky terrain. I’ve found rest in the warmth of the rising sun, and I’ve found green pastures and gentle streams. Paradise was mine.

Until a seed of unrest nested within me.

I wandered off the course when I suspected the well trodden path was the reason for my emptiness. I found myself in exciting places on that majestic mountain. I climbed and bled for the joy of feeling alive. I wandered and wandered until I found myself in some dank dark cave where goblins stole me through the cracks in my foundations. The dark is such that I can’t make out my hand from my face.

I’m left to wonder if there ever was a wizard who could come and save me.

My muscles begin to adjust to the crawl. My eyes begin to adjust to the dark. My hunger to the satisfaction of raw fish. What hope is there outside assimilation to the deep dark beneath?

What hope is there for my faith when I can’t see the other side?

Everything changes when we begin to believe the light is winning.

—Zach Hoag, The Light is Winning

Zach Hoag’s “The Light is Winning” chronicles his journey of faith in and out of occultism disguised as Christianity. Occultism of which the aftermath clawed its way into his psyche and held on tight, authoritarianism battling for control.

He paints a picture of spiritual darkness that’s monolithic and monstrous, the effects of which threaten to blot out even the sun. If there was ever a story to abandon all hope, he’s partaken in its shade.

But somehow, against all odds, he found hope. And not just any hope, but a hope that is like a resounding light bursting through the cracks of cave walls, filling up the entire space.

Through his incredible story and a good amount of theology work, Zach not only gives you an intellectual reason for hope, but unsettles something in your chest that leaves you longing to sing, “THE LIGHT IS WINNING!”

Not to mention he talks about Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead.

As for me, I’m still trying to find my way out of the goblin cave. Zach’s story couldn’t have come at a more critical time.

Because I’ve begun to take notice of the light leaking through cracks in the ceiling. A thing called hope is rising my chest, telling me to hold fast to the wizard’s coming. That every particle of dust, made to shine by that brilliant light, is a sign of victory already here and to come.

I think I can hear someone at the cave door.

A familiar voice.

Hush now and you can hear it too. It’s like the tossing of the wind. The rustling of the leaves. The crackling of a rebellious candle in the night.

There’s also a clanging noise, like a bunch of armored goblins knocking their knees together.

Because someday evil and death and sin and darkness will find their end.

Because the light is winning.

Because hope is the one who knocks.

Thoughts on Midlife Spirituality, Reviews on Middle American Culture, Opinions on Middle Class Politics, and More

Logan Rowland

Written by

The Middle Distance
Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade