Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"St. Patrick" by Jonathan Rogers

The Christian Encounters Series looks like it could be a promising one. The design of the books is pleasing. The size of the books is just right for alight read. The subjects selected thus far are interesting: St. Patrick, Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, John Bunyan and Jane Austen are already available; J. S. Bach, St. Francis, Anne Bradstreet, William F. Buckley and J. R. R. Tolkien will be out later this year.

The volume covering the life of St. Patrick is a quick read. It is interesting with all the buzz about Missional Christianity these days as well. St. Patrick appears to have been a better role model for today’s Christians than a lot of the cross-cultural Christians of the past who sought to Christianize cultures rather than make disciples.

That being said, this biography has an unusual tone. It is rather dry and academic. This is good in that it does not elaborate or speculate the way so many myths have done in the past, but it makes the reader always feel like they are kept at a distance from the man that St. Patrick might have been. Perhaps to make up for that fact, we are treated to every single word that St. Patrick actually wrote himself, which is the only real source of information we have about Patrick in the end.

If you want to truly study who Patrick was, this is a good starting point. If you want an entertaining read and do not care about the hard facts you might look elsewhere on this St. Patrick’s Day.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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