Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Review: 50 People Every Christian Should Know

“All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.”
~ Hudson Taylor

Robert Murray McCheyne was only 30 years old when he died. “Live so as to be missed!” was one of his favorite sayings.

Frances Ridley Havergal’s mother often said to her, “Fanny dear, pray to God to prepare you for all that He is preparing for you.”

Dr. A.T. Pierson estimated conservatively that D.L. Moody brought the gospel to 100 million people during his lifetime – without radio, television, or even a public address system!

Oswald Chambers never actually wrote any of his books, although his name is on them. He spoke every word, but it was his wife, and later his daughter, who prepared the manuscripts and mothered each book through the presses.

These are just a few of the interesting facts you will find in Warren Wiersbe’s book, 50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Spiritual Giants of the Faith.

This book offers fifty short biographical sketches of Christian figures of varying importance. Each sketch was originally published as a magazine article in Moody Monthly and The Good News Broadcaster. Many of the names in this book will, no doubt, be familiar to you: Amy Carmichael, Charles Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, Fanny Crosby, A.W. Tozer, etc. However, I was surprised by how many were unfamiliar to me.

I expected each chapter to contain a mini biography: dates lived, important accomplishments, etc. And while Wiersbe does include that information, it is not usually the focus of the chapter. He chooses, instead, to focus on the distinctive marks of their ministry.

The thing that struck me most about this book, though, is that it is most definitely written for READERS. Each chapter includes extensive recommendations for further reading: either through the person’s own writings, their biographies, or even through books that were influential to them. I think I have added more books to my wish list through the reading of this one than from any other source!

There is a noticeable emphasis on figures related to Moody, but this shouldn't discourage you from reading it. It’s an excellent choice to read just a few pages at a time.

THE VERDICT: Recommended

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