Title: Bearing Witness (Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship)
Author: Charles E. Moore & Timothy Keiderling
Publisher: Plough Publishing
My rating is 4 stars.
Let’s start with understanding a basic definition of the word martyr, which is “a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.” The next step I took was reading the Introduction written by John D. Roth and Elizabeth Miller. I highly recommend readers do read the Introduction as it gives a framework for the stories included in the publication.
As I read, I noticed that authors included many who died for their faith from various religious institutions or faiths. The authors started with those who are known martyrs in the Bible and continued to the present day. The book is a result of a project titled, Bearing Witness Stories and more information can be found at www.martyrstories.org
The goal of the project “invites Anabaptist communities worldwide to share their stories of costly discipleship, in hopes of inspiring greater faithfulness to Jesus Christ and strengthen the church’s unity.” (pg. 226). The book desires to collect stories of martyrdom from as many individuals and groups who desire to have their stories published. I can appreciate those who took a stand for their faith and paid with their lives in many cases. Some of the stories included in the book Bearing Witness should shake us out of our “self-focused” worldview and challenge us to live a life that reflects the gospel to a lost world.
I would caution readers to remember that in this day and age to slap a Christian label on something regardless of what it is whether music, books, magazines, etc. doesn’t make it so. It would be wise to appreciate the stories included here, but to also do further research into what one believes to see if it is centered on the Bible or elsewhere. I realize it is no easy matter to lay one’s life down for their faith. I just hope readers make sure they know why they believe what they believe so it is not in vain if the ultimate sacrifice ever faces them.
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