Here is a readable, interesting, and encouraging introduction to ten men of God who confessed Christ faithfully in their own times, leaving a heritage of blessing for others. This book, by God’s grace, will prolong that blessing.
Skilfully and accessibly, the authors give us pen portraits of Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Luther, Cranmer, Baxter, Wesley, Hudson Taylor, Spurgeon, and Bonhoeffer. So, 20 centuries covered in 240 pages!
The ‘warts’ aren’t left out, and this is no mere uncritical hagiography of heroes. Most comment is fair, yet I did feel that they were a tad hard on Spurgeonn – though I do have a soft spot for him! We are reminded that ‘the best of men are but men at their best’. But we are especially told how God showed them mercy, worked in their lives, and used each of them to touch others.
Some stand out as they were used to clarify great doctrines of the faith; others because of great practical effectiveness in the midst of severe trials of health. Some showed extraordinary commitment, even at the cost of their lives. All had to fight sin within, temptation and discouragement without, and the opposition of the Evil One. All point to the rich grace of the Lord Jesus.
I found out things I hadn’t known before, even in such short summary stories. But this book isn’t a collection of mere curios. It has heart-warming lessons for your Christian life. It will spur you on to pray, to think more Christianly, to be brave and serve well in the time in which God has called you to live.
We are doing a series on church history at the moment which includes looking at the lives of some great women of God. Perhaps that could be their next book? Happily commended.