Knuckle Sandwich: Sometimes Rock ’n’ Roll Hits Back
By Sherri Myers
Dec 3, 2008 - 11:06:04 AM


When bassist Jeremiah Springfield from the Christian rock band Teens Ablaze met lead singer Matt Ripke from Shekinah Fire at Camp Laodicea, they knew God had something in the works for them.  As the week at summer camp wound down, Matt and Jeremiah parted ways but promised to keep in touch.  They don’t, but then Matt walks into The Armory, a Christian bookstore where Jeremiah has been working before heading off to college.  They discover they will be attending the same college in the fall and make plans to renew their friendship. 

Liz Bennett and her friend, Amanda, were just hanging out dancing at Tulsa’s Club David when Jeremiah and Matt introduced themselves.  The four hit it off immediately and as they began spending time together, an idea began forming in Matt’s mind that maybe they could create their own Christian band after he learned that Liz played drums.  Thus, Knuckle Sandwich was born. 

Before long, the band is playing to huge crowds of screaming teenage fans, and as their popularity grows, so does Matt’s ego.  He and Liz begin dating, as do Jeremiah and Amanda, and it isn’t long before the sexual temptations have them all forgetting about their Christian convictions.  Will any of the four friends have the willpower to turn back to their faith?  Will any of their relationships work in the long run—be it in their band or their personal lives?

Adam Palmer has written a fast-paced young adult novel set in the Christian music world in 1994, entitled KNUCKLE SANDWICH: SOMETIMES ROCK ’N’ ROLL HITS BACK.  Four teens are quickly thrust into the high-energy world of Christian rock music, only to find their faith challenged at every step.  God gets left in the dust as their focus turns to thoughts of fame, fortune and personal pleasures.  Once the teens begin their slide downward, it’s a long climb back up the slippery slope to redemption.  As I read KNUCKLE SANDWICH, it was clear to me this book was written by someone who had an insider’s view of the world of Christian rock music, and it didn’t surprise me when I later learned of Mr. Palmer’s background.  I recommend this book to older more mature teens and twenty-somethings due to the sensitive sexual subject matter.

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