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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

Upfront, let me say that I received this book free from Book Sneeze in return of providing a review though no duty is present to provide a positive one to obtain said item.  It is just one person's opinion. 

Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You teaches how God ironically repeatedly uses weak, foolish, and broken people as models of his power, wisdom, and love.  The biblical figures discussed here include:

Joseph: a slave who saved his country and his family

Miriam: Moses' sister who helped that key biblical figure

Samson: an uncontrollable man whom God empowered and used

Jonathan: an heir to a throne he was willing to give up

Esther: the woman God used to spare the Jewish people

Mark: a coward who was restored and wrote the second gospel

Onesimus: a runaway slave who became a minister
and several more. 

It is in fact a third in a series (previous ones: Twelve Ordinary Men and Twelve Extraordinary Women) that discuss various biblical figures for the readers' personal advancement. The book adds historical and cultural backgrounds, which is helpful, since some biblical accounts (consider Onesimus, the subject of a short Pauline epistle) are relatively brief though we can imagine they are often written down only after oral traditions with much more detail and discussion was provided first.  Also, these are complex individuals -- consider Jonathan, who is the son of a rival of David, but they become close friends. The tragic nature of their relationship is worthy of contemplation and provides insights for many other such relationships.

It was a good book that brought alive various biblical figures.  Should be particularly helpful for bible study groups.  ****