Living above the Average – W. Macdonald

Paperback, 150 pp. Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON., L3K 6A6, Canada. ISBN 188270176-3.

This is a collection of brief anecdotes of various believers, plus a couple of potted autobiographies.

The latter are of Eric Liddell and Robert Cleaver Chapman, of around 2000 words each. Most of the former, of around 400-550 words, are Americans and many were unknown to this reviewer; for example, Faulkner, Akeman, Nichols, Oscar Cubas. We are given only the forenames of a few. More well-known ones perhaps include Darby, Ironside, Aylward and Suso.

The writer aims to challenge us, to provoke us to love and good works and the anecdotes are meant to illustrate ‘heroic displays of Christlikeness’. They are usually descriptions of specific incidents in a believer’s life, such as forgiving a converted Nazi guard, not retaliating when spat on, and declining to recite an anti-Christian poem in class at school.

Carefully chosen verses of scripture are incorporated into some of the anecdotes. The writer adds some direct comments, usually a crisp exhortation at the end of each anecdote, either a sentence or paragraph or two. For example, we read, ‘It takes backbone to be true to Jesus when all the world seems to be against you. Edith Vail was one of those who had what it takes’, and ‘If our behaviour doesn’t rise above the way the world acts, it will never make an impact on those who are perishing’. Regrettably the copy I had contained quite a number of pages with faint print/text.

[Our thanks to Bryan Charles, Appledore, Devon, England, for this review]


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