Book Review: Strong: How God Equipped 11 Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Power (and Can Do the Same for You), by Catherine Parks
Catherine Parks has written a series of short biographies of 11 men in her book, Strong: How God Equipped 11 Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Power (and Can Do the Same for You). Her goal is to profile a different kind of strength than we usually think of.
This is a different view of strength; one that doesn’t require large muscles or athletic ability. There’s nothing here about winning fights of never crying. This strength comes from outside of ourselves—from God. And we don’t get this strength so that we can win games or show off; this strength helps us do the things God has planned for us, hanging in there and being patient even when things are hard. The purpose of our lives isn’t to prove how strong we are; it’s to show His strength.
Each one of the stories about the eleven men in her book exhibited strength in different ways. Alvin York showed strength in generosity; George Muller in faith; Dietrich Bonhoeffer showed courage; Brother Andrew demonstrated obedience; Elka of the Wai Wai showed how to stand alone; Eric Liddell showed strength in knowing what matters; John Newton demonstrated godly ambition; William Carey showed humility; George Liele demonstrated compassion; Jim Elliot showed sacrificial love; and Jack Robinson demonstrated endurance.
The book is a very fast read as it has larger than normal font and more space and margin than usual. Each chapter ends with questions that can be used for discussion. Since the profiles are relatively brief, you may want to consult other sources to learn more in depth about the various men. The style of writing seems like the book is aimed at elementary or junior high boys. Perhaps it could be used in a Sunday School class or a father reading the book with his son.
Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program http://www.bhbloggers.com/. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.