Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saint Patrick by Jonathan Rogers

Patrick was a Roman Briton born sometime around AD 400. His father was a landowner, a local official and a deacon in the Roman Catholic church so Patrick had a privileged childhood. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was about sixteen and sold into slavery. He managed to escape after six years. He had a vision only a short time after he had returned home convincing him God desired he take the gospel to Ireland. He resumed his interrupted education and subsequently took holy orders. He eventually made it to Ireland, becoming the first missionary to go beyond the boundaries of the Roman Empire and take the gospel to barbarians.
There are scores of legends surrounding Patrick's life. Rogers tries to make sense of the legends and Patrick's own account of his life. (Patrick's writings are included in an appendix so one can compare Roger's thoughts with Patrick's own work.)
Why did God use Patrick to take the gospel to barbarians? Rogers says Patrick was humble enough to serve the very barbarians whom the more sophisticated churchmen wanted nothing to do with yet he was rustic enough to relate to them. Patrick was pious in character and yet was very human. To a culture of violence Patrick brought a message of peace. Instead of boasting he lived humility. To a land of pagan gods he brought Christianity.
This book is a part of the Christian Encounter series from Thomas Nelson Publishers. These little biographies highlight important lives from all ages and areas of the church. If the others are as well done as this one, the series will be a great addition to the Christian community. I highly recommend this book and the discussion guide that is available at the publisher's web site.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
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