One of the great things about Christianity is that its proponents and members pop up everywhere, even where least expected. William Buckley, Jr. is remembered as a champion of conservative ideology—but it was his Catholic faith that led him to the views he espoused. Jane Austen was a novelist known for her wit and brilliant characterizations—yet her Christian worldview informs each of her plots and (more importantly) her insights concerning human nature. Isaac Newton revolutionized science—though it was theology, not physics, that remained his deepest love and pursuit.
The lives of these figures and others like them are finally offered in light of their Christian faith in the eminently readable Christian Encounters series authored by a number of experts and scholars. Many names more commonly associated with the Church are also here, though typically those less-well-known—St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, Sgt. York and Anne Bradstreet to name a few. Designed for older students (high school and above), these are compelling reading for adults as well.
An emphasis on quality writing style makes each volume not only informative and edifying, but also aesthetically pleasing as authors tell their warts-and-all stories with panache and humor. These aren't the most in-depth biographies you'll find (though they come close for figures like St. Nicholas), but they offer an excellent jumping-off place for further study, or simply great summaries of important figures' lives. Short, affordable and well-made, the books of the Christian Encounters series are good for school reading or personal enjoyment.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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