This is a really interesting small book consisting of twelve biographies of Christian heroes of faith. They begin with the earliest, St Columba of Iona, then work through history, including John Bunyan and William Wilberforce on the way, before finishing with Joni Eareckson Tada.
Each biography covers eight to ten pages with the aim of showing how these people from different backgrounds put their faith into action in different and sometimes challenging circumstances. A short introduction and conclusion put the biographies into the context of the book’s title—Christianity: Is it True? They also answer two other questions which the author sets: ‘does it work?’, and ‘is it worth it?’
The key point to make, which is not stated clearly on the cover—or even inside—is that the book is aimed at young people in the 12-15 age bracket. More specifically, given the way the book is written using lots of biblical references and ‘Christian words’, it appears to be aimed at those with a fairly traditional church background, who have an interest in history and who have reached an age where they might be questioning what Christianity is all about – as so many teenagers do.
For this audience the author does a great job of sketching the lives of his chosen characters. Reading their lives is likely to encourage teenagers that, although being a Christian can be tough, it is worth it. For these teenagers the book can be fully recommended: it is easy to read and inspiring. For young people new to the faith, or those searching for God, it is not so warmly recommended. The teenagers I teach would more likely be interested in the lives of contemporary Christians fighting battles similar to their own.
Dr James Hindson