When we hear stories of martyrs told from others’ lips we can often think of them as superhumans on a different scale of faith that we can never attain. However, in reading their own descriptions of themselves, we see a fight against inward sin and a determination to do God’s will that we can imitate.
In Shadow of the Almighty the second is true as Elisabeth Elliot collates the diaries and letters of Jim Elliot.
The Argument of the Book
Elisabeth collates the diaries of the missionary martyr Jim Elliot in an attempt to tell the story of this man of faith, and gives some more details herself. It is an excellent description of missionary life, as well as chatering the growth of a young man towards Godliness.
Primary Audience & Purpose
Elliot doesn’t highlight an audience, but notes in the introduction that this has given an inspiration to young men in particular. She aims to give a role model to Christians, especially those thinking about the mission field.
Literary Features of the Book
The book contains mainly extracts from Jim’s diaries and letters. Jim is challenging in his single mindness towards reaching the lost.
Is it Biblical?
Jim had some unusual ideas as a Plymoth Brethren, and talks about “New Testament patterns of church” (which do not include sermons or pastors) a lot. However, overall his attitude is very sound, especially in its focus on doing the word of God not just believing it.
Does it apply truth?
As said above, Jim always puts his thoughts into action and his example challenges the reader to do the same.
Is it Christ centred?
Yes. Although this is a biography Jim’s life is single in it’s goal, to give glory to Christ. (Buy it UK)