Radiant records the triumph of the gospel as Christian women faced kings and governors, soldiers and wild beasts, Japanese guards and Muslim raiders, fire, exile, the chopping block, Nazis, cannibals, riots and more. "Look to heaven and forsake the world" has been their cry for two thousand years, but being "spiritually minded" in this way hasn't made these women etherealRadiant records the triumph of the gospel as Christian women faced kings and governors, soldiers and wild beasts, Japanese guards and Muslim raiders, fire, exile, the chopping block, Nazis, cannibals, riots and more. "Look to heaven and forsake the world" has been their cry for two thousand years, but being "spiritually minded" in this way hasn't made these women ethereal -- it's made them invincible.From South America to Europe, from China to Africa to the Wild West, in prisons and in throne rooms, the Christian heroines of Radiant have left a stunning legacy. These short and moving biographies for young people introduce fifty often unfamiliar champions of the faith: women like Ida Kahn, who opened the first clinic in a Chinese city of 300,000 people; Lady Anne Hamilton, who rode with the Covenanter cavalry at the decisive Battle of Berwick; and Anngrace Taban, who was forced to type secret battle plans for the Sudan People's Liberation Army....
|Title||:||Radiant: Fifty Remarkable Women in Church History|
|Number of Pages||:||330 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Radiant: Fifty Remarkable Women in Church History Reviews
(Originally posted at my blog, Vintage Novels)I have to admit that the drawcard for me in this book's description was Lady Anne Hamilton, "who rode with the Covenanter cavalry at the decisive Battle of Berwick". Swashbuckling Covenanter lady? Where do I sign up to read about her?And so I decided I would write and ask for a review copy of church historian Richard Hannula's latest release, Radiant: Fifty Remarkable Women in Church History.The content, form, and style of this book is not likely to cause riots in the streets. Hannula provides mini-biographies of the promised fifty remarkable women, from the well-known (St Monica, Jeanne d'Albret, Corrie ten Boom) to the obscure (an unnamed Armenian woman, a Mrs Smith of Coventry, the aforesaid Lady Anne Hamilton), all evenly distributed throughout church history from late antiquity to modern times. The briefness of the chapters, the simpleness of the writing style, and the vividness of the storytelling makes this ideal as bedtime reading for children, or quick and easy devotional reading for a grown-up.The real power in this book comes from the stories of the women themselves and the amazing power of God in their lives to sustain them through difficult times. And this is what will have an incredibly impact on the world. At the same time I was reading Radiant I've been working through George Grant's wonderful The Micah Mandate, specifically the chapters on mercy, and the overwhelming emphasis of these good church women on mercy ministry - food, education, political protection - was a real challenge to think about the wider meaning of the Christian mission.Beyond that, it was a real pleasure to meet these women. Hannula provided some details I didn't previously know about women like Saint Margaret of Scotland or Katherine Luther, who seems to have been a terrific character!Luther would occasionally fall prey to bouts of discouragement and gloomy moods. Once, when a depression lasted longer than usual, he left home to visit friends for a few days, hoping that a change of scene might help. It didn't, and he wrote Katherine that he was coming home. When he arrived, he found her sitting in a chair dressed from head to toe in black with a dark veil covering her face. She was sighing and holding a wet handkerchief to her eyes. Luther rushed to her side and asked, "Katherine, what is the matter?""Only think, my dear doctor," she said, "the Lord in heaven is dead! This is the cause of my grief."Other favourites from this book included the adorable Elizabeth of Hungary, the brave and clever Catherine Parr, the grand tragic story of Margaret Nisbet, and of course Lady Anne Hamilton, "the lioness of the Covenant." None of these women had easy lives, but despite illness, persecution, danger, or depression, they were granted victory in Christ.There were other things I enjoyed about this book. For example, Christianity is not an individualistic or egalitarian faith, and so the lives of many of these great women happened intertwined with the lives of the great Christian men they married, befriended, or assisted in some way. Jonathan Edwards's wife Sarah, Adoniram Judson's wife Sarah Boardman Judson, Samuel Rutherford's correspondent Lady Jane Gordon, and the wonderful Sabina Wurmbrand who told her husband that she would rather he were dead than a coward, are all honoured for their role complementing and supporting their remarkable Christian men.I also enjoyed the overview this book provided of church history through the ages. Many of the details were already quite well-known to me, of course, but it would be a great introduction for younger readers. I was also pleased by Hannula's balanced attitude toward women who espoused causes evangelical Protestants today might not always agree with--he provided gentle criticism from a Reformed point of view while honouring these women's very real faith and perseverance.Radiant also provided an introduction for me to a number of women whose biographies we have, but I had never been prompted to pick them up and read them. Reading this book, and skimming through the bibliography at the back, populated my to-read list with a whole lot more reading which I can't wait to get into, much of it in the public domain.Warmest thanks to Canon Press for supplying me with a free review copy of Radiant!
Wonderful book that I had the pleasure of proofreading. Hannula is not a great writer and the intro is basic la-de-da "let's learn about women in church history today," but for Pete's sake, we should know more about Katherine von Bora (aka Kate Luther).Some evaluations with spoilers that only spoilifyou know the characters:Perpetua, Crispina, and Marcella—predictable stories: a Christian is persecuted, people plead with them, they suffer some doubt while standing firm, they die. The motives of the early Christians continue to be unexplored and the Romans remain cardboard villains. Is there really nothing about these early women martyrs that is unexpected or bizarre?Monica’s life is more interesting than Hannula makes her out to be. All sorts of interesting details pop up in the Confessions that make her a fascinating character: her youthful addiction to wine and quitting after getting called a wine-bibber by a slave, the way she encouraged young women not to even speak against their husbands, her refusal to baptize Augustine lest he defile himself in sin, her wishing that Augustine would not marry lest it hinder his studies, the dream she had of a shining one telling her that Augustine would be saved, her begging Augustine not to go to Rome and his deception of her, her bold decision to leave her home in Africa and follow him to Milan, her lack of rejoicing on hearing that Augustine was no longer a Manichee, her practice of leaving cakes and wine and drinking a diluted cup of wine and her giving it up for the sake of Ambrose—all these humanizing details make Monica a fascinating character, but they get left out. What do I want? I want the strangeness and weirdness of the Early Church as much on display as the virtue. In fact, that will make the virtue believable and imitable.Nonna and Anthusa are really bizarre, since they really didn’t do that much and the characters are perfect. The lives of their children, Gregory and John really need to be expanded upon since they really didn’t do much. Anthusa sticks out because of her wish for her son not to live. Brigid is better, but the do-gooding is still expected at this point.Clotilda and Bertha—Yes! These stories are amazing! Brigid and Leoba—Good nuns; both have unusual relationships with Patrick and Boniface.Ludmila—exciting and profoundly sad. Queen Margaret of Scotland—best yet!Clare—loads of fun. The story of how she ruined her body is a really good example of how the Church developed through trial and error.Elizabeth of Hungary is none the worse for being repeated; she remains fascinating because of her willingness to dress in jewels and robes for her husband. Anne of Bohemia—Uh, almost half the chapter is really about Wycliffe. What’s here is good, but there needs to be more Anne and less Lollard. Mrs. Smith—Not worth a chapter, she did one thing and died for it. The end. Margaret of Norway—Why haven’t I heard of her before? So brave and so important for the Reformation. Katherine von Bora (aka Luther)—sadder and more beautiful than I could have imagined. Katherine Parr—kicks the notch up. Uses deceit quite cleverly and may very well have tipped the tide for Protestantism in England. Anne Askew—good story, but we might consider deleting. Katharine Hamilton—2/3rds is about her brother who never gives in and then she recants! Strange and unflattering comparison. Lady Jane Gray—goes longer than it might, but instructive. Jeanne d’Albret—still inspires, but already in T & T. Lady Anne Hamilton—quite the character, but unfortunately the chapter barely spends time on her; it focuses more about the covenanters. Jane Gordon—this story is fascinating, though it seems to be more of a take on Rutherford at times than a story about the woman. Nisbet story—sad story. Nicholas and Erdmuth—truly remarkable! No way do we delete this chapter.Sarah Edwards—good example of a story that could have been about Jonathan, but tilts decisively for her here.Spauldings—full of amazing moments: Eliza’s silence and Chief Timothy’s regret on losing her. Sarah Boardman Judson and Fidelia Fiske—exciting and encouraging the way most missionary stories are.Amanda Smith—half the story is about her youth and her parents’ involvement in the Underground Railroad. The rest of the chapter is interesting. Her revival and connection to the Holiness movement is the most theologically strange moment that evokes opposition. I wish Hannula would comment here like he did on Catholicism.Maria Hudson—courtship story alone worth the price of admission. Mary Ann Lyth and Mary Calvert—short and remarkable. The story might be improved though by telling it in more linear fashion.Liu Wen Lan and Mrs. Kao—same problems as the Early Church saints: super-perfect missionaries that suffer, but simply die. This ground was also covered in Trial and Triumph. Ramabai—fascinating because she really began to be a missionary before she became a Christian: a nice variation. Armenian nurse—might be a bit short, but definitely powerful. Ida Kahn—I think her friend Dr. Mary Stone should get billing with her. The story ends too quickly though.Bessie and Corrie ten Boom—always good, but misses a great anecdote about how she forgave one of the Nazi guards.Sabina Wurmbrand—truly wonderful and stands well on its own separate from her husband’s story in T & T. Ei Sook and Elder Park—fascinating and disturbing promise of judgment. Darlene Rose—easy to sympathize with her hatred of her enemy. When I heard her preaching the gospel to Yamji, a tear almost came to my eye.Frank Schaeffer—for once I wanted them to have more about her husband since he's not in T & T.Dayuma—cool because she is a fierce pagan that ends up bringing the Gospel.Bilquis—cool and sympathetic because of her fear of losing her family. Eta Linneman—offers a much needed relief to the missionary stories. Here here for dry academics!Taban—good ending.
The author does a very good job of writing within the historical context of each person. He does not anachronise, but rather, lets the stories speak for themselves, without trying to assert his own agenda or theological persuasions. The book is an easily read account of some remarkable women. It reignites a passion in the reader to serve Christ and to mimic His other followers who served Him well. The short bios are engaging glimpses into the lives of these women, calling the reader to learn more about them.
Terrific anthology of mini-biographies of women from the ancient church to the present for middle grades and up.Read full review at Redeemed Reader
I am not really equipped to rate this book as an evangelical text. I received it under the misapprehension that it was a historical study, which it is not. I've attempted to rate it based on style, which is relatively poor, and accuracy to historical facts relating to the time of the accounts (for instance, the assertion that a woman of the European Middle Ages trusted to Christ alone for her salvation is a misinterpretation of the prevailing religion of the time). It also lacks sourcing of any kind.
This was a wonderful compilation of biographical sketches. Naturally, each of the 46 biographies was very short -- not exhaustive by any means. However, each woman's story was inspiring and engaging. Some were so filled with faith and wisdom that I was moved to tears. I plan to recommend this book to other Christian women. It isn't perfectly written, but the stories it contains are beautiful and worthy of telling.
Encouraging - small chapters that pair well with other reading. Each of these women's lives could be (and most are) books unto themselves, but if nothing else, this book helped align my comfortable, western mind to the truth of valiance, suffering, and joy.
A wonderful overview of brave, ordinary Christian women - keeping it on my bedside to read again.
I enjoyed learning a bit about church history and the lives of some very amazing women. The book was well written and laid out. I wished it had a bit more detail, but for what it was, it was good.