Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson

This is a biography of Stan Dale, a missionary to the cannibalistic Yali tribe of Papua. This tribe believes in a variety of spirits who control every aspect of life and require the strictest obedience. To the point that even children are killed in the tribe if they break certain rules of the spirits. And yes, they eat the flesh of opposing warriors they have killed. Into this world went Dale to share the good news of Jesus Christ, the one true God who offers salvation and true freedom. 

To say this is a page-turner would be an understatement. It’s fascinating to read about Dale’s initial contact with this tribe up through multiple years living amongst them learning their language, religion, and customs, and the eventual turning to Christ of some. But not without great risk and cost to his family and companions, as well as fierce opposition from other tribes. I didn’t know anything about Dale’s story, so I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading, particularly as Richardson’s writing style is especially vivid. What an incredible story of God’s faithfulness! I’ve surely said in previous reviews of missionary biographies, but I appreciate reading about God’s work throughout the whole world, how He does so. God truly desires for every tribe, tongue, and nation to hear of the good news of Jesus, and it is inspiring to read of men and women who have taken up this call. 

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