Amy Carmichael

Catherine MacKenzie | April 1, 2015

Iain Murray. Amy Carmichael: Beauty For Ashes. Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 2015. 192 pp. $13.00.

What if you had a flash of foreknowledge and suddenly realized there was a future “Amy Carmichael” sucking her thumb in your church? You would probably burst with pride, pat her teacher on the back, and enthusiastically congratulate the parents. After all, who doesn’t want a Christian heroine in their junior Sunday school?

Men and women of extraordinary heroism feature prominently in our Christian Halls of Fame. We hold them up as role models, healthy alternatives to the pop singers and athletes our teenagers tend to emulate. But if we’re honest, there are more than a couple of problems with this approach. That is why I think Iain Murray’s new biography, Amy Carmichael: Beauty for Ashes, is a healthy alternative to the normal Christian hero-worship titles.

Though the prolific church historian and biographer doesn’t strip Carmichael of any of her attributes, Murray does introduce us to a woman of faith, foibles, and failings. With an expert pen Murray allows her voice to speak clearly through her poetry and her passion—while at the same time dealing with her difficult personality.

Difficult personality? Really? But she was a missionary! It’s true. Murray graciously but accurately introduces us…

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