Sunday, May 15, 2016

My thoughts on Krusen's "They Were Christians"

Since I've come to believe that one's personal faith walk is something between God and the individual, the title They Were Christians: the Inspiring Faith of Men and Women Who Changed the World (Cristóbal Krusen, BakerBooks, 2016) immediately caught my attention. How does someone in the 21st century presume to know who was a Christian in the 19th or 20th century? How in fact can somebody in the 21st century presume to know if his neighbor, co-worker, or family member, someone with whom there is daily contact, is actually a Christian.  True Christianity is a matter of the heart, not just a simple declarative statement, and to my way of seeing things, only God truly knows about another person's faith walk.
            Even with the doubtful start, I found the book to be a fairly enjoyable read. As the title suggests, Krusen writes about several people who played an influential role in the affairs of their time. A Secretary- General of the UN, a United States President, a 19th century slave, writers, nurses, doctors and philanthropists, all played a part in shaping the world, and along the way, their writings and actions led others to recognize their faith.
            The author doesn't just give biographical sketches of his subject matter, he ties their stories in with his own. Some of his autobiographical entries deal with his life before becoming a Christian, and some is post-conversion. Somehow he manages to tie it all neatly together.   
            Since the author chose to include some of his own story at the beginning and end of each chapter, I would have preferred to read more of the autobiography.  History buffs will probably disagree and would like more of the biographical sketches about each of the people being written about.
I received a copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for this review. I was not required to post a positive review.


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