Archive for May 5th, 2012

Purchase:  Amazon

This is the first time I have ever read anything by Warren Wiersbe, but I have always seen his devotional books in the library and used book store, even though I must confess I do not know much about him. Ironically, in a book about other Christians I’ve also learn something about the author, that he was a former pastor of Moody Memorial church! In this work (which is an adaptation of a larger work on more Christians we should know), the author gives a short introduction to ten individuals every Christian should know. With the chapters arranged chronologically of when they were introduced into history, I’ve enjoyed the first chapter on Matthew Henry largely because I know nothing about the biography of this famous man whom I am only familiar with being the authority of a commentary bearing his name. It was interesting to know of him as a man that not only preach the word in the church but a man who practice family worship, in which some of the materials his commentary was based (much of his work was gather from his exposition after his death, since he only worked on it for 10 years before his death). Other chapters I’ve enjoyed include Jonathan Edwards, J.B. Lightfoot, Hudson Taylor, Spurgeon, Moody, Amy Carmichael and Oswald Chambers. I do have some concern with some of the other chapters though. I question whether John Henry Newman was that important to have been included in a book for Evangelicals to know–especially because he is a Roman Catholic and the author himself admits that he does not give a solution to man’s guilt. In the chapters on Tozer, Wiersbe spent more time talking about other works of mystics more than about the man Tozer himself or his theology. Wiersbe gets a little weirdy when he tells readers to buy “devotionals” featuring Kierkegaard and others without the caution about their ideology. I’m not against reading these works to understand the times, for apologetics concern, etc, but I do not know if it is wise to recommend these works as “devotional” reads to get into the grove of being Christian “mystics” (Wiersbe’s own words). He even recommends to his readers to read works by Evelyn Underhill, whom the author informs to the readers was a “British mystic” though “unfortunately she was never quite sure of her theology,” and “confessed to being ‘a modernist on many points.'” Again, for a work for a largely general audience, I don’t know what good it is to recommend as devotional readings these works and his appraisal of it. It’s for these reasons that in the end I have to say that I cannot recommend this work.

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