Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review of Samuel Rutherford by Kingsley G. Rendell

Author: Kingsley G. Rendell

Pages: 192pgs

Publisher: Christian Focus

Price: 9.09

Genre: Biography

Quick Summary:

Samuel Rutherford was a Puritan pastor that lived in the 1600s. He is most known for his Letters and his pastoral work but this particular biography focuses on Rutherford the “apologist and propagandist”. This work track his life from his days as a student to his death. We meet Rutherford the pastor, the prisoner, the reformer, the apologist, the protester, and the man of extremes.

What I Liked:

I have not read many biographies on Rutherford. This is one of my first exposures to him in biographical form. I can tell though through reading this that Kingsley Rendell is not afraid of telling the story as it really was. He is not an overly doting biographer that refuses to look at the rough edges of his subject. And even though I do not have much exposure to Rutherford I am certain that there is information and perspective in this work that you will not find anywhere else.

What I Disliked:

In my opinion there are two types of biographies: the story/narrative type and the intentional/perspective type. This biography is the latter. What I mean is that you almost need a prior knowledge of Rutherford, Scotland, and this era before you can really get involved in this work. This book is supplemental to other writings on Rutherford and the period. I have no doubt that it is helpful but as an introduction to Rutherford it’s not what I was looking for.

Should You Buy It?

If you already have a basic knowledge of Rutherford, Scotland, and this particular era of history then this may be a fun read for you. This would be a great book to go along with a study of Rutherford, but it is not a good book to stand alone. You will learn things, but as far as overly enjoyable biography this book is not it. If it had more helpful footnotes at the bottom of the pages then it may be a little better to read, but I got lost in all of the characters, governmental structures, etc. that I was unfamiliar with.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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