- Stories of faith from Universities worldwide
- Uses examples from Daniel & FIEC student movement
- Shining Like Stars
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You may never have heard of Lindsay Brown, or IFES, but this organisation has quietly been changing the world one person at a time on a global scale since 1947. This book tells the story of the organisation and its largely hidden ministry which has impacted on the way leaders both spiritual and secular have developed in nations across the globe. A huge reason for this impact is because young people new in their faith take God at his Word and never doubt that the impossible is possible for him. When I worked for IFES it felt that both extraordinary courage, imperative need and outrageous grace and miraculous interventions were common place across the globe. When I moved from there to work for the church it suddenly felt that nothing could be achieved spontaneously and God had to wait for a committee decision like everyone else. The power of this book is that it demonstrates what living faith in Christ can achieve and in the face of huge – to us in first world countries, insurmountable, difficulties. The book has several different aspirations, but primarily it seems to seek to record the lives of heroes of the faith who are largely unkown outside of their own nations and possibly even within them. It pays homage to their contribution to the international christian student movement (particularly IFES) and accords the respect they deserve for their faithfulness in what many of us would regard as impossible circumstances. Lindsay occasionally has a fairly academic and ponderous style, but also has the good sense to let stories ‘tell themselves’ for example when talking about sacrificial faith where students and staff members have risked their lives for the sake of the gospel in countries as diverse a chechnya, Rwanda, Bolivia, etc. He is in full possession of the facts when he relates them and is clear about places and dates and the context of world events. It leaves the reader to consider, would I be willing to die for my faith? If as a student you were threatened with death unless they threw your bible to the ground and spat on on it, what would you do? If your partner were killed in front of you, would your faith survive? Its a challenge to consider the cost of our calling as Christians but it is also an encouragement to see lives that shine like stars in the darkness of corrupt and decaying regimes where violence and persecution have become commonplace. The book deserves a wide readership given that it covers living examples of applied bible principles, but is likely to be sidelined to a narrow readership. When I bought my copy the comment in the bookshop was that it wasn’t worth stocking more than one copy since this was not a university town. A comment which highlights the general ignorance of both the influence of higher education and of its strategic importance in christian life. It is to be hoped the author will be widely invited to speak in churches and thus increase the audience for the book that way. It is also to be hoped that this might in future be released with a study guide for use by small groups.