Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Twelve Unlikely Heroes

John MacArthur is no stranger to controversy.  His interviews on Larry King Live and other programs were not marked by soft words.  His books The Gospel According to Jesus and Charismatic Chaos had polarizing effects, to say the least.  And yet, in his latest book Twelve Unlikely Heroes we see his gentler side.

MacArthur profiles twelve mostly obscure Bible characters, drawing out remarkable insights from passages that seem scanty at first.  Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James (the brother of Jesus), Onesimus, and Mark are all brought forward from the pages of Scripture in vivid, three-dimensional color.  Even seasoned Bible students will have plenty of "Why-didn't-I-ever-see-that-before" moments reading this book.

While the book contains plenty of information, there is very little application.  MacArthur doesn't spend as much time exhorting his readers as we would expect from a book with "What He Wants to Do with You" in the subtitle.  The basic message of the book seems to be: "God uses imperfect people; He can use you".  But who really needs to be told that?  I think most of us struggle more with expecting God to use us and being upset when He doesn't.  It's the (rare) humble person who would be blessed most by this work; someone who honestly thinks their past failures or present weaknesses are inhibiting God from ministering through their life would find this book a refreshing spring.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookSneeze.com in exchange for writing this review.  My review was not required to be positive.

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