Let me start by saying that this is the first book I have read by John MacArthur, but I absolutely loved it and I am eager to read more of his work.
In "12 Unlikely Heroes" by John MacArthur, the author talks about 12 different unexpected heroes from the Bible and gives a small preview into each of their lives. The 12 listed are Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark and Onesimus.
Most of the heroes were well-known to me, while I had heard only tidbits about James and Onesimus before reading this book. I think the point that the author is trying to make is that God can use anybody. He does use kings, priests and prophets to complete his work, but he also uses ordinary people like you and I. Jonah ran from God before he pursued God's plan for his life. Samson disobeyed God multiple times, and finally made the right decision in the final moments of his life. I think MacArthur gives us a glimpse of these characters to show us what can happen when we don't follow God's will. God had big plans for these heroes but they followed their own judgement instead of God's.
From the first chapter, I was hooked. MacArthur has a beautiful way of telling the stories of these famous and not-so-famous Bible characters. His writing is easy to understand and would be a great book to use in a Bible study or class. I rate is as 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur is an in-depth study of some of the ordinary and not so ordinary people of whom God picked to do his work. They were weak in body and sometimes soul. They questioned God. Some of the heroes, Jonah for instance, God had to all but drag to work and then listen to him complain when he successfully completed his mission. Some unflinchingly worked for God, Jonathan, even when he had to go against his Earthly father in order to work for his heavenly father. The Bible and other historical documents are used as Mr. MacArthur weaves these fascinating Biblical stories of which most of us are familiar with cultural facts of the background during which they occur.
I enjoyed reading the well known stories of the Bible. Mr. MacArthur brought alive the stories that I had heard from childhood on up to adulthood. However, I am not a Bible scholar but as I was reading the early parts of the book I thought to myself, I don't remember that but I did not look them up in either of the Bibles cited in the book. When I came to the Jonathon story though and on page 103 it says after Saul threw the spear and missed his son's head. "Nobody moved. The only sound in the room came from the still-vibrating spear handle plunged ominously into the wall." I really thought, "I don't remember that". So I looked it up. Nope it doesn't say that in the Bible so I looked to see if this book was fictionalized- nope it says, "Bibleâ€”Biography". I looked for citing in the back of the book and only see citing for chapter 10. I work with many persons who only read books and consider if they are Bible based that they are not fiction (even if the book says that they ARE fiction). I am sure that if they read a book which is non-fiction they would not look up and see if everything is as is written or if it has been embellished for interest. This is concerning to me about this work even though I enjoyed reading the book and learned much from it.
This book was provided for this review from Booksneeze.
"Twelve Unlikely Heroes" by John MacArthur is a really good book. When I first started reading it, I thought it would just be a lot of stuff I already knew about some specific people in the Bible. I was wrong. This book is filled with facts that I had never heard before, including speculations on what Onesimus went on to do with his life after restoration with Philemon, details about Roman slavery, more about the world Esther lived in and reasons why four years passed before the king began to look for a new queen, etc...I thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved the fact that Mr. MacArthur briefly went back through all of the heroes in his book in the epilogue. After sharing about them again, he pointed out that the ultimate Hero in these stories is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!! He is the one who led Esther to the palace and used her to preserve the Jewish people again, HE is the one who did great miracles to deliver Miriam and all of the Israelites from the Egyptians, and on and on...These great people in God's Word were merely tools in the hands of a Mighty God. God wants us to be willing to be tools for Him as well. Am I willing?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze and I was not asked to submit a positive or negative review. This is my personal opinion.
John MacArthur in his new book , "Twelve Unlikely Heroes" published by Thomas Nelson shows us How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You.
From the back cover: What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work?
Far from the children's tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: "God is not ashamed to be called their God" (Hebrews 11:16).
In Twelve Unlikely Heroes, pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur uses his deep knowledge of the Bible and history to take us back to see these three-dimensional men and women in their own times and cultures. In doing so, it becomes clear how their dramatic stories apply to us today. People who might at first seem foreign quickly become familiar and unforgettableâ€”particularly as they reveal the true Hero behind every witness, the power counterbalancing every weakness, "the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1).
Okay let's do word association. When I say "Hero" what image pops into your mind? For some people the image might be Superman or Batman. For others it might be some valiant military figure. More than likely whatever image popped into your mind it was someone who got a lot of press. Most times we don't think of ourselves as heroes nor do we think of the person we work with or go to church with as heroes. John MacArthur shows us that God sees heroes in the most unlikely of individuals. He presents twelve portraits of men and women who are heroes in the Bible. Most of them even show up in special honor listed in the hall of faith. You know what the nice thing is about reading of these men and women? If God sees heroes in them and He is no respecter of persons then He can see heroes in us. I think you will want to give this book to family and friends so that they can have a new perspective of who and what a hero is according to God. They will always remember your gift and thank you for it. I recommend this book highly!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the BookSneeze 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."