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03 November 2020

Character Sketch: Eric Liddell

As Christmas is coming right around the corner, so is the time to start buying gifts for each other. Are you looking for a gift for a veteran of the faith, or someone who has just become a follower of Christ? Maybe you have a history lover in your circle of friends and family, or perhaps someone who is content reading short, punchy books. Whoever you have in mind and regardless of their personal preferences, we have a unique book recommendation for you.

Sketches of Faith: An Introduction to Characters from Christian History (10Publishing, 2020) presents the lives of various heroes of the faith in bite–sized, engaging chapters. Wrapped in a gold–foiled, deluxe hardcover and filled with beautiful, hand–drawn sketches of each character, this book will acquaint you with people who lived as long ago as Paul the Apostle or as recently as J. I. Packer. You’re sure to recognize several names in this book, and even surer to learn something you never knew before.

Below you can find a sneak peek into Sketches of Faith by reading a brief character “sketch” of an Olympic runner who ran with endurance for Christ, Eric Liddell. His accomplishments in the 1924 Olympic games in Paris, as well as the media attention and disapproval from fans he received when he decided not to run in a race which took place on Sunday, are what we remember him for today. But, as is pointed out in the book, we don’t know much of Liddell’s later years and what he accomplished for Christ on the mission field. We learn in Sketches of Faith how Liddell lived out the rest of his life apart from sports.

The following is an excerpt from the book:

“He travelled to Tientsin, in China, to teach science in the Anglo–Chinese College… After more than ten years’ teaching in China, he had to decide whether to accept a call to rural evangelism near Siaochang. For over a year, he agonized over the decision. Due to the Japanese invasion, he would have to live apart from his family, in extreme danger. In 1936, he took the assignment to be a call from the Lord… The mission was located in a war zone, and he practiced self–sacrificing compassion on a number of occasions. He rescued wounded soldiers –whatever their nationality – for treatment at the mission hospital, when harbouring a Chinese soldier could incur the death penalty from the Japanese… 

[…]

When war was declared between Japan and Britain, the risk to missionaries increased. Liddell’s wife and three daughters returned to safety in Canada. However, Eric decided to remain in China. Foreign missionaries were eventually interned in a camp at Weihsien… Liddell helped others energetically ,teaching children and organizing athletic activities for inmates. His labors sapped his strength, and an undetected brain tumor depleted his health. He also suffered bouts of depression, which he interpreted as a sign of faltering faith. He died in the Weihsien camp on 21 February 1945.”

Sketches of Faith brings together all the hardships, mistakes, and accomplishments of the various well–known figures from Christian history and highlights how they all lived their lives for Christ. Who could you give this book to this season? Buy it here.

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