Monday, October 15, 2012

Great for God by D. Shibley

Great for God by David Shibley has the subtitle "Missionaries Who Changed the World." The book is made up of short summaries of 23 different missionaries. At the start of each section is the missionary's name, their date/place of birth, their date/place of death, their "legacy", and a quote by that individual. After this is a narrative section of a few pages which gives a short summary of their life as it relates to missions.

I was pleased with this book in a sense. At first I was disappointed because each segment is so short (!) and I really wished to read more about these people, more details. I think I am just used to reading missionary biographies (such as the Christian Heroes Then and Now) which tell the life story, using an entire book on one individual.

After I had reconciled myself to the fact that this is meant to be a brief introduction/overview of different missionaries, I came to see it as a book about missions/missionaries rather than about individual missionaries. That statement may sound a little confusing, but what I meant by it is that throughout reading this book it will be obvious that there is no ONE type of missionary, no ONE way of "doing" missions, no ONE set pattern, no ONE background, etc. Missionaries are people who spread the gospel, in many different ways, in many different places and settings. This book introduces several different missionaries, some well-known, others less-known. If you are a person like me who likes to read more than just a few pages about these individuals, there are books available elsewhere to expand on the names you read about here.

I would recommend this book as a picture of missions and missionaries. It's also useful in introducing the names of missionaries you may wish to learn more about.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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