2 Stars: 10 Christians Everyone Should Know by John Perry

10 Christians Everyone Should Know is composed of 10 short biographies of an odd seemingly random selection of men and women, many of whom are obscure and less-well-known Christians. I was quite surprised that many of these lesser-known figures were included in this book as "Christians everyone should know" while the most famous Christian names that every Christian should REALLY know are all left out: Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, etc. Some of the figures chosen are famous outside of Christian circles, like: Galileo and Johann Sebastian Bach. Others are very well-known inside Christian circles to this day, like John Bunyan and Dwight Moody. But the rest are a mix and I'm afraid the reader may not see the relevance of knowing the biographies of these individuals.

The biographies are well-written accounts from birth, childhood to death of each individual. They highlight many of the most notable achievements and memories. The title of this book is "10 Christians Everyone Should Know: Lives of the Faithful and What They Mean to You"; however, these are simple biographies and "what they mean to you" is not included in this book. I found myself bored with most of the biographies and not seeing the relevance for me today. Especially, I found the women's biographies dragging on and having more to do with "she lived here and had kids and moved here" than anything to do with Christianity or Christian living. I didn't see a point to knowing the life story and didn't find any relevance to my own life.

Saint Patrick's biography (the first in the book) was also a bit troublesome for me because many of the biggest best stories were "according to legend" and then sometimes our author added "but it may not have been true." So his biography felt like a lot of tall tales with little fact. I finished feeling like he had been blown up into a "hero" with many exaggerated stories.

My favorite biographies were those of Galileo, John Bunyan and D.L. Moody. The reason is that these figures are known in society and Christianity, so there is some relevance in knowing a bit about them. But if I go to my fellow Christian and start talking about Sergent York or William F Buckley Jr, they will have no idea who he is and why they should care. This book failed to show why the 10 people chosen "should be known by everyone." I would rather read about 10 more relevant Christians that actually had a huge impact on Christianity: John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Cornelius Van Til, William Tyndale, Augustine, Martin Luther, and Philip Melanchthon.

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher but I am not required to give a positive review. I always give brutally honest reviews and attempt to critically point out parts of the book that may not agree with the Bible and so not appeal to others. I want you readers to be able to confidently choose a book based on the stars I give it, because I know you have limited money, time and energy to read. So let's make the most of our lives and discern and choose the very best books wisely.

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