I only review a small percent of the books I read, but I have book reviews scattered about here and there. A few years ago I began writing reviews on amazon, as a way to remember books that I read. Some I wrote for seminary classes, and they remain in my computer, but I adapted some to share in other places. Then I began blogging, and my blog became the main place I shared reviews. At some point I joined goodreads, and have a few reviews there. Some reviews I have copied and pasted to several places, while others may only be in one or two spots.
Recently a publisher saw my review of a book on goodreads and asked if I’d transfer it to their website so others might be encouraged to read the book. I was honored and have done so. But I also wanted to share the review on my blog. I read this book a few years ago. It is:
John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides by John G. Paton. Banner of Truth, 2002. Consider purchasing from Banner of Truth. (I possess the 2002 reprint with a different cover. Current cover to the left.)
John Paton was the famous 1800’s missionary to the cannibals of the South Seas islands. This is his autobiography and it is over 500 pages long. I read it slowly over about 8 weeks. It was more than worth my efforts!
However, if you are not an avid reader, this book will probably be “too much” for you. I’d recommend getting one of the shorter biographies of his life. But because this is Paton’s first hand account – there are many fascinating stories/situations. You’ll miss out on many of them if you opt for a biography of his life instead.
This book was inspiring and powerful. It takes you from his childhood, all the way to his later years. John Paton was sold out for Jesus, and for reaching the cannibals for Christ. Imagine landing on a primitive island, and not even speaking the language of the natives. He started from nothing! He endured much hardship, suffering, sickness and danger – especially on the first island on which he was a missionary. There were setbacks and disappointments. Many would have given up and went home, but not John Paton. Eventually, after much sacrifice and labor, he saw many natives come to Christ and their lives miraculously transformed.
On a lighter note…One part of the book left me laughing so hard that I cried! Paton was a “total abstainer” from alcohol, and he argues his choice very strongly. One time while traveling in Australia he had a 20 mile ride on a crazy, out-of-control, horse. Upon reaching his destination, he was topsy turvy and could barely speak. They thought he was drunk, and try as he might he couldn’t convince them he was sober. You have to read it yourself – it was hysterical!
I give this autobiography 5 stars. It is a missionary classic.