Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review: Great for God

For the past few weeks, I've been reading a section from Great for God: Missionaries Who Changed the World by David Shibley a couple of days a week as a devotional, basically.

What a fabulous book.

I never heard stories of missionaries growing up.  My church may have supported one or two, I have no idea.  It wasn't something that ever came up.  I was vaguely aware that missionaries existed, especially in the past, but it was never talked about.

It wasn't until I started investigating homeschooling that I learned that there were actually books about missions, and there were even missionaries serving today.  Since then, reading missionary biographies and stories has been a reasonably regular part of our family life.

So while I was interested in reading this book, I wasn't necessarily excited.  We own so many books about missionaries already.

What wows me about this book is that even in the short little stories about missionaries we're already very familiar with (in my case, Rowland Bingham, William Carey, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Adoniram Judson, Eric Liddell, David Livingstone, Lottie Moon, Mary Slessor, C. T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, Cameron Townsend, and Nikolaus Zinzendorf) I often found bits I didn't know, or connections I had never made.

But the best part were all the others I really don't know at all.  These include:
  • Bill Bright (okay, I knew he founded Campus Crusade for Christ, but I didn't know much more than that)
  • Charles Fuller
  • H. B. Garlock
  • Paul Little (I have a couple of his books, but again, I didn't know much about him)
  • John Mott
  • Bob Pierce
  • Warren Shibley
  • Oswald Smith
  • Dawson Trotman
  • Samuel Zwemer
I received the Kindle format of this book, so it is now becoming something we do when we are waiting somewhere.  Each of the 23 sections takes roughly ten minutes to read, which is usually just about perfect.  This means that I am going through these stories again, with my kids.  And it is just as enjoyable the second time through.

If you are someone who has already read a fair amount about missions, this book is probably going to be a combination of hearing a slightly different take on people you know and being introduced to some new people too.

If you are like me a dozen years ago, this is a fabulous introduction to nearly two dozen missionaries and it may inspire you to find some full-length biographies to read more.

Either way, this is a fantastic resource.

Disclaimer:   I received this Kindle book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.   

1 comment:

Beloved's Bride said...

Thank You for this review. It was helpful to me. I have been looking for a missionary book.