Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On This Day in Christian History – Robert J. Morgan

© 1997 Thomas Nelson, Nashville

Robert J. Morgan is a pastor and compiler. His inspirational devotionals include Then Sings My Soul (volumes 1 and 2), and he has a heart for developing devotional readers. In On This Day, he attempts to provide stories of inspiration from the lives of Christian Saints, Martyrs, and Heroes.

The book holds 365 stories from the life of the Christian Church. The stories range from the challenging to the bizarre, from the encouraging to the repulsive. Morgan offers a daily snapshot of life in the Church from her earliest days and into the twentieth century. Some of the stories will make you say hallelujah, while others will cause you to scratch your head in confusion (wonder?).

The author’s stated desire is to link each of the stories with a particular day in the year, and he takes great pains to do just that. Sometimes this connection is most natural, while at many other times it is forced and formulaic. Included are some of the more familiar (and almost overused) stories from the faith such as the well-worn story behind the writing of the great hymn “It Is Well with My Soul.” Other stories are more obscure—making them fresher to the reader.

Why read a book like this? As a pastor and speaker, I am always looking illustrations that speak to the heart—what better place than in a volume packed with stories. Others may want to have a “page-a-day” quick devotional thought. Would I recommend this book for inspiration or devotion? I would have to say no. While I would not go so far as to discourage reading of the book, I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it. That said, I give Mr. Morgan 3 reading glasses for his effort.

Benjamin Potter, December 21, 2010

[Disclosure of material connection:I received this book free from the publisher through the Booksneeze.com book review bloggers 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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