Dr.John MacArthur is an excellent teacher and an excellent writer. He takes twelve characters from the Scriptures and fleshes out their stories to give us insights into how God can use the most unlikely of people to work His will. I have many John MacArthur books but this is one of my favorites. If you're looking for deeper insight into the lives, motivations and actions of some of the most unlikely Biblical heroes, this book is absolutely for you. Think He can't use you as you are? Think again! Five stars!!!!
MacArthur focuses on 12 characters of the Bible who had an impact on our Christian heritage and the powerful lessons in the Bible. Some of these characters are represented in only a few short lines of scripture, others are prominently featured or are the subject of an entire book of the Bible. In all cases, MacArthur provides an in-depth look at each character, their relationship to God and the impact that they made on their people, culture and the actual lessons contained in the Bible. Although you may be familiar with the character or their story, MacArthur provides amazing detail often by sourcing additional data to provide new dimensions into their stories. In many cases, I learned new details from MacArthurs additional research or being able to see something new in scripture that I might have glossed over in my previous 10 readings.
Especially insightful is MacArthurs comparison and contrast of different characters: Gideon vs. Samson (weak made strong vs. strong made weak), Mark and Onesimus (both redeemed and powerfully used in ministry) and Saul vs. Jonathan (contrasts in character and leadership).
This book also has a companion Study Guide to be used for group study. The questions provide interesting insights that make each character and their lessons applicable to the individual and many would spark interesting discussion for a group setting.
"Twelve Unlikely Heroes" by John MacArthur takes a detailed look at the lives of twelve different Biblical men and women that the casual reader may gloss over upon first glance. The people that MacArthur chose to examine in this book include Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark, and Onesimus.
MacArthur thoroughly dissects the stories surrounding each person, skillfully bringing together not just Scripture, but historical, archaeological, and cultural evidence as well. It is clearly evident that much research has gone into each story. I truly appreciated the historical evidence presented throughout the book as it helped to tie things together and provide a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding these fascinating people.
Each person MacArthur looks at in this book are all sinners and have all fallen short in various areas. But he highlights so beautifully the way that God worked in each person's life to bring about His greater glory. It's a wonderful reminder that God can (and does!) use flawed, sinful people to accomplish His work and His purposes. In both the prologue and epilogue, MacArthur reminds readers that each man and woman featured in this book were known for both their faith and their faithfulness. These are the people (among many of the Biblical men and women) that I want to look up to and who I want my children to look up to.
(I've received this complimentary book from Thomas Nelson Publishing House through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
I am familiar with John MacArthur's ministry, but this is probably the first book of his I have ever read. And I was completely impressed. This book is Biblically based, rooted in conservative theology. He introduces us (or reminds us) of twelve very unlikely people in Scripture whom God used to do great things. You will find yourself reminded and inspired by these stories, and I learned things about Bible characters I had known all my life. MacArthur has a way of writing that is easy to read but deep and penetrating. He brings in his love and understanding of Scripture and history, and this book works very well as a devotional/Bible study. I would highly recommend this book to all people who would like to read an uplifting book for their private (or small group) devotional studies. I plan to read this book again because there is no way I picked up everything the first time!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.