Monday, August 21, 2023

The Journals of Jim Elliot: An Ordinary Man on an Extraordinary Mission by Elisabeth Elliot

Uncover the spiritual riches of the personal journals of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot arrived in Ecuador as a missionary at age twenty-five. Three years later, he would become a martyr at the hands of the Auca [Huaorani], the indigenous people to whom he was witnessing. He left behind a young wife, a baby daughter, and an incredible legacy of faith.

Jim's volumes of personal journals, written over many years, reveal the inner struggles and victories that he experienced before his untimely death in 1956. In The Journals of Jim Elliot, you'll come to know this intelligent and articulate man who yearned to know God's plan for his life, detailed his fascinating missions work, and revealed his love for Elisabeth--first as a single man, then as a happily married one.

Edited by his wife, Elisabeth, Jim's personal yet universal musings about faith, love, and work will show you how to apply the Bible to the situations you face every day. They will inspire you to lead a life of obedience, regardless of the cost, and delight you with an amazing story of courage and determination.

First published January 1, 1978 with original title The Journals of Jim Elliot

Paperback, 475 pages
Published June 6, 2023
 by Fleming H. Revell Company
4 stars

I remember as a child camping with my family and one night watching a movie at the campground. The movie was the story of five missionaries in Ecuador who were tragically killed by those they tried to save. That was my introduction to Jim Elliot.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

I never knew that this quote came from the journals of Jim Elliot but it is one I have heard many times over the years. So I jumped at the chance to review this edition of his journals. While this copy is a new release, it was a originally published in 1978, edited by his widow Elizabeth.

Starting eight years before his tragic death with his last entries just days before, it is a dense read coming in at almost 500 pages. This is an intimate and at times difficult picture of a man who has been analyzed from all sides.

While other works will either try to show Jim Elliot as a hero or a villain, his own journals reveal a passionate and at time troubled man who did his best to live the way he thought God wanted him to. While readers might agree or disagree with many of the aspirations and ideas Elliot expresses in these pages, I think everyone will find his commitment and honesty impressive--so long as you are prepared to read journal entries. It is important to note that this is well outside my usual genre, and reading journals is a very different experience from reading novels.

This book would be helpful to anyone interested in digging deep into the psyche of a flawed man who was sold out for his God. It is an unsettling but powerful glimpse into his relationship with his Lord, his struggles, and life.

My thanks to Graf-Martin Communication for a print copy in exchange for a honest review.

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