Book Review: Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom

Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to FreedomSteal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book focuses on Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson. Spurgeon was the well known pastor in London and Johnson was an African-American born into slavery in Virginia and lived as a slave for 28 years until finding freedom at the end of the Civil War. Johnson was saved when Jesus found him on the plantation. He went on to become a preacher and pastor. He longed to go to Africa as a missionary and ended up studying at Spurgeon’s Pastors College before he went to Cameroon.

The book focuses on these two men leading up to their eventual meeting and the friendship between them thereafter. Johnson was a friend and counselor whose experience as a slave helped Spurgeon in facing his own bondage of physical sickness and paralyzing depression. It’s a side of Spurgeon you probably knew existed, but it’s not typically the focus of any treatment of his life.

I found the book fascinating and appreciated the authors’ work in producing it. It is a work of narrative non-fiction. The authors took the various pieces of history of these two men and put them together in a narrative rather than an academic listing of names, places, and dates. Such an approach requires creativity to connect the dots at times. Every small detail may not be exactly right, but the work produced is readable and informative.

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Book Review: The Time Between the Old and New Testament

The Time Between the Old and New Testament: A Zondervan Digital ShortThe Time Between the Old and New Testament: A Zondervan Digital Short by Henry H. Halley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a concise overview of the intertestamental period. It is an excellent summary to bridge the gap between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Many things changed during those four centuries and understanding that helps understand the setting of the Gospels and the land of Israel during the life of Jesus.

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Book Review: The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English DictionaryThe Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is the history of the Oxford English Dictionary, focusing somewhat on the editor, James Murray, and focusing primarily on one of the major volunteer contributors, Dr. William Minor. The tale of Minor’s life is fascinating, tragic, sad, and highly disturbing. The author does not sensationalize, but the truth of Minor’s life is unsettling. I cannot recommend the book unqualified, but with a little investigation you can discern what you’re in for.

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