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Five Who Changed The World Hardcover – 2008
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In this compelling book, Daniel Akin walks believers through five key texts of Scripture, illustrating the truths contained therein by sharing biographies of five missionairies who changed the world through their dedication to the Great Commission. --- from the book cover.
Top customer reviews
Akin depends heavily on the standard biographies of each of these, which is fine. His goal here isn't original historical research. His goal is to pass on the stories of five great champions of the gospel and to remind us of the high cost that many have paid to take the good news to the world. He obviously is wanting to shake us out of our own complacency, and he does so with genuine conviction and in a non-manipulative way. In other words, Akin's agenda is clear and it is correct. We desparately need to hear these great stories again.
My wife and I were frequently and deeply touched by these biographies. The essay on Lottie Moon was particularly moving and Akin chose well from her letters. In short, Roni and I have been moved to have sincere conversations about our own failure in the area of following the Great Commission and I believe we will be much more sensitive to this crucial need today and in the days to come.
As the title suggests, this small volume inspires readers with the example of five missionaries who "changed the world." In missions circles, and especially in Southern Baptist Life, the names of the missionaries are never far from the tip of the tongue. Akin studies the lives of these missionaries illuminated by Scripture passages chosen that seemed to be embodied by the people they are coupled with. In the almost 100 pages the reader will find William Carey--the Father of the Modern Missions Movement, Adoniram & Ann Judson--the first Baptist missionaries from America, Bill Wallace--a medical doctor who went to China and wound up martyred for his faith, Lottie Moon--the namesake for Southern Baptists' international missions offering who literally gave her life for the Chinese she served, and Jim Elliot--brutally murdered by the people he brought the gospel to and whose surviving wife (Elisabeth) and daughter (Valerie) returned to South America to see Jim's dream of believers among the "Auca" come to life.
The messages were inspiring to read, and they are a reminder to anyone who is a Christian of our task--"Go . . . make disciples. . ." Thanks for the inspiration Danny (and William, Adoniram & Ann, Bill, Lottie, and Jim). These winning sermons earn five reading glasses from this preacher.
--Benjamin Potter, November 15, 2010
In the messages, Dr. Akin links five great missionaries to a text of Scripture that uniquely describes their ministries. He links William Carey to the Great Commission passage of Matthew 28:16-20. Adoniram and Ann Judson exemplify Romans 8:28-39 while Bill Wallace of China lived and died in accordance with Philippians 1:21. Lottie Moon was an example of a living sacrifice talked about in Romans 12:1 and Jim Elliot personified Psalm 96.
While none of the messages can be considered an in-depth biographical analysis, they are each rich with personal stories and quotes from diaries and historical accounts. Since each chapter was originally presented as a sermon, they are motivational, inspirational and focused on personal application. When read with a submissive heart, each chapter will leave the reader convicted and eager to work toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Each chapter brings the essential core of who each missionary was and highlights the God that moved them to do great things for Him. Whether the author's goal was for this little book to serve as a springboard for further study is not indicated, but be forewarned, each chapter is like receiving a small taste of gourmet food. The palate is energized and the appetite is whetted for more. The only negative critique of the book is the need for more expanded footnotes, a bibliography or a list of suggested readings to pursue in order to satisfy the appetite that it creates.
With a book of this size, the temptation is to breeze through it in one sitting, but that temptation should be avoided. The most benefit can be gained by reading each chapter separately in a quiet time setting. Meditate on the associated biblical text and allow the individual missionary's life to illustrate it. Finally, determine how the Lord would have you to apply the text in your own life. In that way, this will be more than simply another dusty historical account of distant dead people. It will be a spark that will light a fire of evangelism and commitment to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.