Subscribe now


By Iain H. Murray
June 2010 | Review by Graham Hilton


"Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aid to the life of faith may be Christian biographies" -A.W. Tozer. Herein Iain Murray provides keen insight into several dear saints whom he has come to especially admire.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-1848710245
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: £15.00
Buy this book »

Book Review

At first sight Heroes may appear to be only a collection of mini-biographies of well-known and not-so-well-known Christians. However, in his foreword, Iain Murray tells us that his aim is deeper, to highlight certain aspects of these Christians’ thought.

The chapters on Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Newton and C. H. Spurgeon become a ‘window into their souls’ as the author deals with misunderstood aspects of their lives bringing conflict and difficulty.

From the not-so-well known we have fascinating insights into pioneering missionary work, in how the ‘wolf from Scotland’ Robert Reid Kalley and gospel partner William Hewitson established much blessed medical, schooling and preaching ministries in Madeira. Another dealt with is Thomas Charles and the 1790s revival in Bala.

The greatest delight, however, and taking up a third of this book, is found in the account of Charles and Mary Colcock Jones. This traces the life of a plantation and slave owner in Liberty County, Georgia, USA, during the decades around 1850.

It is about a man with a burning desire to bring the gospel message to the people in his care. He seeks to persuade other plantation owners to treat their servants well, provide them with education and draw them away from immorality.

Colcock Jones’ work was based on biblical teaching and supported with the catechisms and tracts he wrote. His relationship with his wife was a fine outworking of Christianity, truly elevating womanhood and displaying the proper relationships between sexes — a revelation then and now!

Charles Colcock Jones’ death came before the ravages of the American civil war and it was Mary who experienced the break-up of all that they had worked for. It was not the loss of prosperity that was most painful, though they were prosperous, but the break-up of their spiritual ‘family’ – black servants who were true brothers and sisters in Christ.

It was written of Colcock Jones that ‘no man has ever done more for the coloured race of this country than he. No man was ever more beloved and appreciated by that people, his name being mentioned with reverence to this day (1899)’.

This book is well worth reading, which brings me to Iain Murray’s second aim — ‘to give young Christians a relish for old authors, and encourage younger ministers of the gospel that the Saviour of yesterday is the same today and tomorrow’. I encourage you to buy it, read it and pass it on to others, to accomplish this aim.


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…