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Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Winston Churchill captivated the world with his voice and his writings. His books and speeches ooze with patriotism and faith in a just God. But he wasn’t always known for his oratory skills, his faith, or his ability to captivate. In fact, as a child, he was small for his age, accident-prone, and frequently sick. To make matters worse, he was stubborn and self-centered, had a lisp, and did poorly in school.

Born to an aristocratic family, young Winston was whisked off to boarding school at an early age, ignored by his parents, and left in the care of a nanny, Elizabeth Everest. But Everest excelled where Winston’s own parents had failed him. She nurtured and encouraged him, and shared with him her own steadfast faith in God, shaping the views and vision of the persistent little English boy who would become one of the most influen­tial men in history.

 

Published: Thomas Nelson on
ISBN: 9781418555238
List price: $12.00
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In Christian Encounters: Winston Churchill, biographer John Perry takes a look at one of the twentieth century's most influential and interesting figures. Winston Churchill was at once infuriating and charming, an expansive, hardworking, stubborn individual who sought danger just as earnestly as he did luxury. He had a slight speech impediment, yet made some of the most memorable and powerful speeches of his century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 yet often fudged the historical facts in his writing, always disregarding detail in the light of a panoramic whole. Churchill made many mistakes (and enemies) during his long political career, but once World War II started, his undeniable abilities won him the post of British prime minister in 1940.Using excerpts from letters and other writings of people who knew Churchill, Perry reconstructs Churchill not just as a historical figure, but as a person. I especially enjoyed the story of his childhood and family. His parents, Lord Randolph and Jennie Churchill, did not have a close relationship; both were promiscuous and Lord Randolph, always somewhat unstable, eventually went insane. Neither parent spent much time with Winston or his younger brother John, as was customary among titled families of that period. The most constant presence in Churchill's life was his nurse, Elizabeth Everest. Everest was a dedicated Christian and her influence on young Churchill was profound.Churchill's religious faith was a nebulous thing, and Perry discusses the authors and ideas that influenced Churchill both as a young man and later in his life (including Plato, Aristotle, Pascal, and Darwin). On one hand Churchill was firmly convinced that his life was divinely protected, a notion apparently borne out by his many near-death experiences as a newspaper correspondent during Britain's wars. But with characteristic broadness, Churchill refused to be more specific about this protective deity. He approved of Christianity for the masses, believing it helped them to bear their current lives because of the one to come. But as Perry writes, Churchill wanted "all of the benefits of Christianity with none of the liabilities. He could call on God for help when he was in trouble, but otherwise believe whatever he wanted to believe and live as he wanted to live. And what he came to believe in more than anything, at least in his public persona, was himself" (51).I very much enjoyed this book, which I finished in one sitting. Perry's evident scholarship and smooth, clear prose make it a pleasure to read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a concise biography of one of Britain's greatest leaders.Disclosure: I received this book at no cost through Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program. This review is my honest opinion of the work.more

Reviews

In Christian Encounters: Winston Churchill, biographer John Perry takes a look at one of the twentieth century's most influential and interesting figures. Winston Churchill was at once infuriating and charming, an expansive, hardworking, stubborn individual who sought danger just as earnestly as he did luxury. He had a slight speech impediment, yet made some of the most memorable and powerful speeches of his century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 yet often fudged the historical facts in his writing, always disregarding detail in the light of a panoramic whole. Churchill made many mistakes (and enemies) during his long political career, but once World War II started, his undeniable abilities won him the post of British prime minister in 1940.Using excerpts from letters and other writings of people who knew Churchill, Perry reconstructs Churchill not just as a historical figure, but as a person. I especially enjoyed the story of his childhood and family. His parents, Lord Randolph and Jennie Churchill, did not have a close relationship; both were promiscuous and Lord Randolph, always somewhat unstable, eventually went insane. Neither parent spent much time with Winston or his younger brother John, as was customary among titled families of that period. The most constant presence in Churchill's life was his nurse, Elizabeth Everest. Everest was a dedicated Christian and her influence on young Churchill was profound.Churchill's religious faith was a nebulous thing, and Perry discusses the authors and ideas that influenced Churchill both as a young man and later in his life (including Plato, Aristotle, Pascal, and Darwin). On one hand Churchill was firmly convinced that his life was divinely protected, a notion apparently borne out by his many near-death experiences as a newspaper correspondent during Britain's wars. But with characteristic broadness, Churchill refused to be more specific about this protective deity. He approved of Christianity for the masses, believing it helped them to bear their current lives because of the one to come. But as Perry writes, Churchill wanted "all of the benefits of Christianity with none of the liabilities. He could call on God for help when he was in trouble, but otherwise believe whatever he wanted to believe and live as he wanted to live. And what he came to believe in more than anything, at least in his public persona, was himself" (51).I very much enjoyed this book, which I finished in one sitting. Perry's evident scholarship and smooth, clear prose make it a pleasure to read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a concise biography of one of Britain's greatest leaders.Disclosure: I received this book at no cost through Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program. This review is my honest opinion of the work.more
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