Welcome to another book review here at Createyou86. I found this particular book super interesting. Many times we go through our daily lives, and church on Sunday's without even thinking about how, or who has helped our particular religion, or church succeed throughout the millenia. Bearing Witness brings to light just a handful of the christian people who have layed down their lives, and struggled for Jesus.
Being newer to the Christian faith, i am always learning new things, and this book has brought to light through easy to read, and understand stories what being a follower of Christ really means. This book focuses not only on very early Christianity, but brings the stories of persecution all the way to the modern era. The book is broken down into four parts: Early Christians, Radical Reformers, Early Modern Witnesses, and Recent Witnesses. Each Martyr is recognized through his or her name, date of death, and place of death. These people are from all over the world, and their great stories are told in easy to read chapters.
Some of the stories i chose to read were Stephen (from Jerusalem, Jan Hus (from Germany), Jacob Hochstetler (i had to read this one being from Pennsylvania myself), and Clarence Jordan (United States). I particularly connected with the story of Jacob who was a settler in early colonial Pennsylvania, and the story of his family, the surrounding Indian tribes, and the struggle, and eventual death that he, and his family endured in the name of Christ.
I highly recommend this book if you are new to the Christian faith, or are looking for a deeper look into how the christian faith was formed, and has survived. These stories can be sad, and unsettling as they should be. These stories let us know that there were people before us who showed their love for Christ by recognizing that " non-resistent love is not likely to be rewarded here on earth." (pg. xii)
Be sure to check out http://www.plough.com/books for Bearing Witness, and other titles on faith, society, and spiritual life.
Do you have a particular story of martyrdom that you connect with strongly? Let us know in the comments below!