I found this little gem when searching through a long list of books available for free on my Kindle. I knew of D.L. Moody from the Bible Institute that bears his name, but little more. I had no idea the school has been around for 125 years, or that Moody’s lifespan was limited to the 19th Century. I didn’t know what to expect from this little text, but was curious to see which men of the Bible Moody would focus on.
I’m not sure why I anticipated a John Piper-ish treatise, but I was delighted to find Moody’s language and writing style very accessible and easy to understand. It felt like I was reading his sermon notes from a series intended for a men’s conference. While there is much for any reader to glean from Moody’s writing, women should know that men are clearly the audience he is writing for. The book is broken down into seven sections:
- Abraham’s Four Surrenders
- The Call of Moses
- Naaman the Syrian
- The Prophet Nehemiah
- Herod and John the Baptist
- The Man Born Blind and Joseph of Arimathea
- The Penitent Thief
For the most part, Moody’s writing is well organized, though I felt a bit lost when he addresses Herod in chapter five. There was a great deal of inference and conjecture (several pages, actually) based on one verse that changed Moody’s mind forever about what kind of man Herod was: “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.” (Mark 6:20 ESV)
I’m not a particular fan of authors making lengthy conjectures (i.e. Randy Alcorn’s Heaven), but this was the only aspect of the book that rubbed me the wrong way. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve highlighted so much good food for thought! Moody does an excellent job of weaving practical application into each chapter as it relates to each man’s testimony from Scripture.
I’ve included some of my favorite quotes below. If these don’t spark an interest, consider how short the book is (130 pages). If that doesn’t do it, think of all the wonderful things you might learn from the lives of these men who are not often preached about on Sundays. If that doesn’t do it, I guess you’re not a man, and have no interest in being one
Now there are lots of people that have a long eye and a short eye, and they make miserable work of their Christian life. They keep one eye on the eternal city and the other eye on the well-watered plains of Sodom.
The only thing God wishes you to leave with Him is your sin. And yet, it is the only thing you seem not to care about giving up. ‘Oh,’ you say, ‘I love leprosy, it is so delightful, I can’t give it up; I know God wants it, that He may make me clean. But I can’t give it up.’ Why, what downright madness it is for you to love leprosy; and yet that is your condition.
Every time you hear the Gospel and reject it, the hardening process goes on. The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.
One of the greatest hindrances to the progress of the Gospel today is that the narration of the experience [testimony] of the Church is not encouraged. There are a great many men and women who come into the Church, and we never hear anything of their experiences, or of the Lord’s dealings with them. If we could, it would be a great help to others. It would stimulate faith and encourage the more feeble of the flock.