Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Christian Encounters: Winston Churchill

Finally, finally, finally! Too long ago, Judy Lynn at Seize the Book blog surprised me by sending me a copy of Winston Churchill (Christian Encounters Series). If you'd like to catch her thoughts this book - CLICK HERE to read her review.

Ever since I read her review I was dying to read this! (Well, maybe not dying.) But she knew of my enthusiasm and popped it in the mail. How sweet is that? (Thanks, Judy!) Therefore, because I am reading the book thanks to Judy, I'm linking this up to the I Read It Carnival at 5 Minutes for Books today.

I finally had a chance to sit and devour it, and devoured it I did. At a mere 158 pages, this is a quick and easy overview for anyone who might be interested in learning more about Winston Churchill.

Admittedly, I was curious about why Churchill was appearing in Thomas Nelson's Christian Encounters series. For anyone who is more familiar with these books - I'd certainly appreciate hearing more about the purpose behind them. I did read and reviewed the book on Jane Austen from the same series over at 5 Minutes for Books (click on her name to see my review) and had the distinct impression that Thomas Nelson was highlighting people in history who held a believe in the God of the Bible. However, I would say that's not the case and they just want to point out what positions were held by notable personages throughout history? Anyone know the answer to this?

At any rate, I was mildly confused upon cracking up the book being that I didn't understand Churchill to be Christian.

And indeed, he was not.

That doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for him, however! As I've mentioned before, I think Winston Churchill is a man of bravery, honor and decency. There is plenty to admire about him, despite the fact that he apparently studied the doctrines of Christianity and rejected it. (Not a forceful rejection, mind you, but a rejection all the same.) I can see how people would want to claim him to their faith being that he was a hero of World War II. In fact, his daughter, Mary, is quoted as saying:

"But what of his faith in God? Winston Churchill was not religious in a conventional sense - and certainly no regular churchgoer. I saw him once greatly embarrassed when a visiting divine addressed him as a "pillar of the church." My father, one of whose endearing qualities was candor, replied, "Well, I don't think that could be said of me. But I do like to think of myself as a flying buttress." (page 157)

Regardless of the purpose and design behind this Thomas Nelson title, I enjoyed the book for other reasons.

I still haven't read an in depth biography of Churchill (the only book that I've read being Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship), so I considered this a little foretaste of things to come. This book gives a little history regarding his birth, his years in the military and, of course, what led to him becoming Prime Minister as England was led into World War II.

I guess I don't have a whole lot to add to Judy's review except to say that it was a brief and general overview of his life and one I found interesting. I don't really get the purpose behind this book though which leaves me with a series of question marks. I'd feel better if I knew what the intent for this book was/is.

But! The bottom line is that I enjoyed it. Yes, I did. And I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted to just learn a little bit about the man. Perhaps a high schooler? I think that this book is probably best suited for a younger reader and anyone who is serious about wanting to know more should look elsewhere. That's my take on it.


Ronnica said...

Hmmm, the purpose of the series does seem to be a bit muddled. If they just wanted to do a general biographical series, they could have picked a different series name. It seems like they're muddling up the definition of "Christian."

Putting that aside, Churchill IS someone I'd want to read more about.

Nancy said...

Churchill was definitely a fascinating man, the book sounds interesting if the series a bit confuddled. :)

Judylynn said...

Thank you for the link to my blog, Carrie! You are such an encouragement to me. I enjoyed your comments on this book. I'm glad you like it!

Judylynn, Seize the Book Blog

Anonymous said...

hi Churchill was a believer of sorts and did turn to prayer during the war he was as many English are, a nominal Christian it's really up to the lord about where they stand with him. I personally have no idea. But he did believe in god and prayed and read a bible.

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