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Book Review of Elijah (Great Lives, Vol. 5)

Elijah (Great Lives, Vol. 5)
reviewed on + 16 more book reviews

I began this series with book 1 David and enjoyed it immensely. That was much thicker than this one, and that's understandable. After all, king David is mentioned more times in the Bible than any other biblical figure. Elijah, my favorite OT figure, by contrast, is not given much space in the Bible. He enters and leaves the scene suddenly. That makes writing a biography about him difficult. Of course this book isn't a biography but rather biblical exegesis, and because of both reasons Charles had to get very creative here. This book is more personalized and personally reflects more Charles Swindell the man rather than Elijah. This is unavoidable, but can be distracting at times. Reading about Elijah I felt like I got to know a lot about Swindell's life as well.

Certain directions Charles took with Elijah I didn't appreciate. The idea of book camp, for instance. With each passing year I become more and more intimate with Elijah, and there is nowhere in his story that explicitly depicts any kind of training the prophet had to undergo. There are ordeals to be sure, but nowhere is there any kind of indictation Elijah is a fledgling that is slowly turned to God's champion. My feeling is that Elijah is a giant among God's children. He was simply born with his prophetic gifts, no training required. This idea of "boot camp" is more reflective of Charles, but again that's understandable. These minor criticisms notwithstanding, this book also invites multiple readings.

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