Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Big Life - a book review

For the last several months, I've been trying to challenge myself when it comes to my reading choices. Too often I default to fluffy Christian novels and miss out on some really good deeper reads. When the opportunity arose to read and review A Big Life by Peter Hone, I jumped at the chance.

From the back of the book:
A Big Life: Ordinary People Led by an Extraordinary God tells the story of how thousands of believers, from suburban America to the jungles of the subcontinent of India, Pakistan, and beyond, were brought together in a phenomenal work of God.

No Christian was more ordinary than John Heerema, but he was obedient. God took him on an extraordinary, emotional, and often painful journey, shaping him to be a new kind of missionary on a new kind of mission. It was a simple strategy, a strategy not new after all, but ancient, because He had first shown it to us two thousand years ago.

The book shows how God can use ordinary people to reach other ordinary people with the gospel message. How? By sharing one on one, by training other ordinary people to share, and by spreading the message. These believers are using the model in Acts to reach thousands of people in India. This strategy enables the gospel to spread exponentially and is based on 2 Timothy 2:2.

"And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

To be quite honest, I've been trying to review this book for a week. I keep sitting down to write the review but don't have the words to describe it. The power of the book is not in the writing style or the organization. I actually found some of it hard to follow because it was written from the perspective of three believers and changes every few pages.

In spite of its flaws, this book touched me in a deep way. I keep thinking about missionary work, about the book's description of one person dying every second without hearing about Christ. Every second! While I sit watching a 90 minute movie, 5,400 people die without ever hearing about my Lord. It's a staggering thought, extremely sobering.

What does that mean for me? How does that change my life? With the knowledge that so many people are dying without the opportunity to hear about Jesus, what am I doing with my life?

My husband does not feel the call to missionary work. Not everyone is called to be a missionary in another country. But that doesn't mean that we have no responsibility to spread the good news. If we're not called to be missionaries, what is our part to play? What can I do to make a difference, to look outside of myself and help spread hope?

I don't have the answers. I just know that A Big Life opened my eyes to something beyond myself, my local church, my community. Americans seem to know about God, to have the opportunity to choose or reject Him. But what about those who have not yet heard?

A. Larry Ross Communications sent this book for me to read and review. I give it a positive recommendation not because it was free but because it truly made me think, pray, and have some very long discussions with my husband.


Carrie said...

I definitely like the sounds of that one WAY more than "Embracing Obscurity." :P

Sounds very intriguing and I was glad to hear your thoughts on it!

Johanna said...

I believe we're all called to be a missionary. Most of us right in our own homes, churches, communities. God has a purpose for each of us. In America, we've heard of God, for the most part, but people misunderstand Him often. It's our job to reveal His true character to others, so they will desire Him.