Fearless Love

James Andrews with Emma Newrick

Fearless Love revolves around the life of a Bible College in Northern Nigeria, in an area where Christians often face severe persecution at the hands of the Islamic majority. The persecution can be social; people are cut off from their families and friends or even violent, with people being threatened, beaten or even killed. Running through the book are a series of remarkable stories of trust in God in the face of unimaginable hostility. This is a book about real heroes of the faith; people of whom the world is not worthy. However, the heroes in this story are not the Western missionary who wrote the book and his family (though they are heroic), but the local Christians who are in the centre of the storm in a way that outsiders never can be. It is wonderful to see how these Christians, mostly first generation believers, are taking hold of their faith, trusting God and standing firm under pressure that I suspect would have me running for cover.

The stories in this book provide a wonderful insight into the lives of many believers around the world who live in situations that most Western Christians find hard to imagine.

However, overall, I have to say that this is a disappointing book, which suffers from two basic problems. Firstly, it really needed a better editorial touch. The stories are wonderful, but they hang together poorly and their is little sense of a connected narrative running through the pages. In some ways, it feels like reading a series of amazing missionary prayer letters, rather than a book with a narrative thread. The other thing I found frustrating was that the author never really unpacks some of the difficult issues which he raises. For example, the question of Christians responding to violent attacks by attacking Muslims, in turn, is hardly addressed, which is a significant failing in the context. This is a very short book (104 pages), but it could have been significantly improved if more time and space where taken to explore the issues which lie behind the story.

There is some good stuff here; some fantastic stories and with a bit more work, it could have been an excellent book. As it stands, I find it hard to recommend that anyone buy it. Shame

Reviewed by Eddie Arthur

Eddie and Sue Arthur worked as a part of the team translating the New Testament into the Kouya language of Ivory Coast. During these days, Eddie was ED of Wycliffe UK while Sue has travelled regularly to Madagascar to work as a translation consultant. They have two sons and are owned by a Springer Spaniel. Eddie blogs at Kouya.net and you can follow him on twitter where his user name is @kouya.