Danny Akin’s Five Who Changed the World

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.

Jesse C. Fletcher’s Bill Wallace of China

I would like to encourage any and all of you to take some time and read Bill Wallace of China. It is currently out of print, but shouldn’t be too hard to get a copy of.  I do not think I can recommend this book strongly enough or that I can adequately describe how powerful an experience reading it was for me. Jesse C. Fletcher is to be commended for crafting a work that is at the same time beautiful, shocking, convicting, and inspiring.

This is the story of how a quiet, unassuming, humble, middle-aged, American bachelor from Tennessee gave his life to the people of China. William Wallace was a medical missionary in Wuchow, China, during the turbulent times of the Japanese assault on China leading up to World War II and the rise of Chinese communism that ensued in the wake of that war. It is the story of a man who refused to leave his post when all others had. It is the story of one who won fame as a doctor among the Chinese, won many to faith in Christ, committed heroic deeds in his obstinate refusal to let a Baptist hospital die, and who ultimately died a brutal death in a Chinese communist prison at the hands of his guards.

If ever a culture and people needed true heroes, it is our culture and our people. Dr. Bill Wallace should rightly be presented as just that: a hero. It is hoped that you will purchase and read and share and be moved by this powerful testimony of one of God’s special children, martyr Bill Wallace.