Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reading - 50 People Every Christian Should Know

This book has been sitting on my bedside for a while, and I've rather enjoyed picking it up and slowly working my way through it:
Basically a set of mini-biographies, 50 People...was a faith-building and easy-to-read collection perfect for reading shortly before you drop off each night. The chapters are pretty short, though I think Moody was an exception - not surprisingly, since the author was also a former pastor at Moody Church. As well as chronicling the basics of each saint and their ministry, he also helpfully lists any books they authored that (he felt ) might be of special interest to the reader.
I love the little anecdotes or quotes that really put flesh on these godly men and women: Samuel Chadwick contending for the true gospel, "Until you have got a gospel that works - shut up! This is not an age for twiddling your thumbs!"; of William Borden, "The sight of that young millionaire kneeling with his arm around a 'bum' in the Yale Hope Mission (impressed a visitor to America)"; a young Fanny Crosby wrote of her math lessons, "I loathe, abhor, it makes me sick, To hear the word Arithmetic!"
One thing that I particularly noted throughout was how hard these amazing people worked! Some were college and seminary educated, some were working 12 hour shifts at a cotton mill (followed by several more hours of study), but every one of them worked to a degree that is unlikely to be seen today. From Katherine Von Bora to J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon to William Culbertson, they poured out their lives to the people God gave them to serve, and considered it an honor to do so.
My one reservation is that there were so many people included that by the time I got halfway through, I could no longer remember the distinctiveness of each individual. I met some new folks, learned some new names, but probably would have remembered them each a little better if I read about 25 of them, rather than 50. But thankfully, the book now lives on my shelf, where I can happily consult it for memory refreshers.

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