Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Saint Francis (Christian Encounters Series) by Robert West

Well friends, I should know better. After trudging through "Isaac Newton" (of this same series), I decided to take a stab at reviewing a another. Unfortunately for me, my love of biographies has not really extended to this series. Despite that, I will try to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about how you'll like this book.

I'll give West this, right from the beginning, he does a great job of painting a picture about what the world was like when Francis of Assisi was a young, wealthy man. His description is rich and he paints an interesting and compelling picture of what young Francis' life was like. More importantly, there are easy parallels to what some of our lives may have been like before we knew Jesus - we can see our own lives and how easily the enemy makes us think we have it all, and how the Lord intervenes in those moments to show us what we really have (or lack).

The main problem that I have with book is that the rich description that serves West well as a historian, does not move the story forward very quickly or easily. I felt like I was continually waiting to really see what this guy Francis of Assisi was about. Along the way, I understood that he believed strongly in a life of poverty and sacrifice, and he led others wisely. But I have to be honest - if I'm not sucked into the book by halfway through its 220 very small pages - then I just can't recommend it that highly. I don't know if I'm not connecting with this series because I've only read about men thus far, or if its the format, but I have to rate it 2 sheep out of 5.

** Full disclosure: I was provided with this book free of charge by Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my honest review. I have no other affiliation with Thomas Nelson. If you are interested in being a part of this program, click the "Book Sneeze" link to the right of the blog.