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Ardent Love for Jesus

By Michael Haykin
April 2014 | Review by Stuart Fisher
  • Publisher: Bryntirion Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-85049-248-1
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: 7.99
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Book Review

Ardent Love for Jesus
Michael A G Haykin
Bryntirion Press
160, £0.00
ISBN: 978-1-85049-248-1
Star Rating: 5

This book is a delight to read. With a rare combination of an American author writing about English Baptists and being inspired by a revival conference in Wales, it has to be good!

The subtitle is ‘Learning from the eighteenth-century Baptist revival’, and the author keeps faithfully to this task, but you don’t have to be a Baptist to benefit from this book.

After an introductory chapter detailing the low condition of the Baptist cause in the mid-eighteenth century, the author skilfully describes the story of the change that takes place when a ‘faithful band of brothers’ commit themselves to change.

Such is their commitment that, by the turn of the century, there has been revival, with growth in their denomination and the emergence of one of the greatest missionary movements of all time.

The band of brothers are each described in turn, all of one mind yet each quite different in strength and personality. The book then sketches the lives of key figures.

We read about the zeal of Benjamin Francis and the humility of John Ryland Jr. Central to the story is the life and teaching of Andrew Fuller, the theologian of the band. Then follow sketches on the prayer warrior John Sutcliff, the piety of Samuel Pearce and the ardour of William Carey.

A helpful overview is given to Andrew Fuller’s theological reformation, pulling the mainstream Baptists out of hyper-Calvinism and into a more vigorous thoroughgoing evangelism, which in turn led to a missionary vision. This naturally resulted in the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society and the pioneering work of Carey.

This little book puts a shadowy period of church history back into the light and the author is to be commended for his effort. Highly recommended!

Stuart Fisher
Bournemouth

 

 

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