There are few things so encouraging to the soul as a missionary biography. These stories of ordinary people being used in surprising ways by an extraordinary God strengthen our faith and trust in a God that remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. The stories also help to ignite deep within our bones a Great Commission passion to be a part of seeing the Gospel go to the nations. Daniel L. Akin’s 10 Who Changed the World is a book of such stories.
10 Who Changed the World emerged from a sermon series that Dr. Akin preached at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Akin serves as president. As sermons, the biographies faithfully weave the missionary story with the exposition of a biblical text. This approach makes this book extremely practical. The truths of scripture are seen lived out through the lives and witness of the missionaries in a powerful way.
Akin selected a wide variety of missionaries for this book. These include well known missionaries, such as Jim Elliot, Lottie Moon, and William Cary, and lesser known figures, such as George Leile, John and Betty Stam, and James Fraser. This introduces readers to what is likely new missionary stories while reminding them of well-known stories. All of the missionary stories are presented with a bent towards personal application, which allows readers to wrestle with truth in each chapter.
I highly recommend 10 Who Changed the World as a good introduction to the genre of missionary biography and good devotional material. This is a great resource that is both practical and encouraging. We are called to bring the Gospel to the nations, and we will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired by reading Akin’s book.