Danny Akin’s Five Who Changed the World was distributed for free at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Indianapolis last month. They are apparently for sell somewhere, though I’ve yet to figure out where. Akin’s personal website has a link that takes you to a blank page. This is a shame, and I hope to figure out where to get these soon, because this is a fantastic and moving look at five great missionaries that will inspire and, I honestly believe, change you.
Originally delivered as five sermons at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, these missionary portraits are delivered to the reader (and, I’m sure, the original audience) with conviction, passion, and an obvious desire to see the readers moved to action by this inspiring accounts. Akin looks at William Carey, Adoniram Judson, Lottie Moon, Bill Wallace of China, and Jim Elliot.
Akin depends heavily on the standard biographies of each of these, which is fine. His goal here isn’t original historical research. His goal is to pass on the stories of five great champions of the gospel and to remind us of the high cost that many have paid to take the good news to the world. He obviously is wanting to shake us out of our own complacency, and he does so with genuine conviction and in a non-manipulative way. In other words, Akin’s agenda is clear and it is correct. We desparately need to hear these great stories again.
My wife and I were frequently and deeply touched by these biographies. The essay on Lottie Moon was particularly moving and Akin chose well from her letters. In short, Roni and I have been moved to have sincere conversations about our own failure in the area of following the Great Commission and I believe we will be much more sensitive to this crucial need today and in the days to come.