David’s #23 – Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift

Eric Liddell, of “Chariots of Fire” fame, was an impressive man and outstanding athlete and Olympian.  God used his athletic success to allow Him to reach thousands, and he used Liddell as the avenue for that.  He was a humble servant, missionary, and a man of great faith.  He was the son of Scottish missionaries to China and later returned as a missionary himself.  His life can serve as an inspiration to many.  

That being said, I feel like this book could and should have been much better.  The Christian community today seems to be big fans of “Christian Heroes,” both those in Biblical and modern times.  But we forget that these people are human; completely human.  We often overlook that they are men and women with flaws.  This fact is part of what makes the gospel in their lives so amazing.  This book takes hero worship to the extreme.  Ms. Swift appears to feel that Eric Liddell did no wrong, clearly not the case.

At times I felt like I was listening to a story being told by someone’s doting grandmother, recounting the sweet way that “darling Eric” used to recover cats from trees.  Or an overzealous, excited fan telling about the “amazing Eric” who won the Olympics without training(which the author sort of tries to claim he did). 

The story had potential, but the writing was incredibly elementary, choppy and disjointed.  The author almost seemed to switch storylines mid-page.  It may have been researched but there was no bibliography to back it up and was written in such a way that you felt like any of it could have been hearsay.

Read a book about Eric Liddell, but not this one.

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