Monday, June 20, 2011

Outstanding Book - The Sword of the Lord

Book - The Sword of the Lord - The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family.

(A Kindle Edition is available for $2.99)

Author - Andrew Himes

Publisher - ChiaraPress

Publication Date - May 2011

Paperback, over 300 pages

There are many different reasons I recommend this book. But if you are not familiar with the author's family, it will be hard to describe how important this is.   Have you heard of Dr. John R. Rice? He was the founder of The Sword of the Lord newspaper and authored over 200 books.  That simple sentence is an understatement. But first, let me tell you that Andrew Himes is his grandson.

I have been searching for an update from the family for many years. I wanted to know how they were doing? Were their religious convictions still as strong, after all this time? How were they living in these "modern" days? How were the children and grandchildren in this family turning out and working for God?

I was thrilled to find a book written by someone from this family. Not only is Andrew the grandson of Dr. Rice, he is also the nephew of the well-known author (of Me? Obey Him?)  - Elizabeth Rice Handford!

Dr. Rice and his wife, Lloys, who I adore, had 6 daughters, including Elizabeth, and Mary Lloys, who is the mother of Andrew Himes.  Each one of these girls married preachers!

I grew up listening to the sermons of Dr. Rice on cassette tape. I entered my early married years reading books published by The Sword of the Lord  (including Me? Obey Him? - which was originally a small pamphlet called "How To Win Your Unsaved Husband."). These publications and sermons sustained me in my religious life and gave me tremendous peace!

I cannot even describe how precious Dr. Rice's sermons were to me. His faith, his conviction, his values, his wisdom coming through his words could make me cry and straighten up my act very quickly. To this day, I love hearing him preach on those old tapes! (He passed away in 1980, at the age of 85.)

Yet, in later years, there were hard times around me. I didn't understand the breaking apart of good churches. I could not fathom judgments and coldness in many congregations. The beauty of Christianity, as I knew it, was falling apart. I went in search of answers.

Just recently, I came across old issues of the Rice daughters' newsletters, dated back in the 1970's and 1980's. I loved the sweet simplicity of their religious faith and encouragement for Christian Mothers. But the girls stopped publishing. They are in their 70's and 80's now.  I am sure they are tired!  But I needed help.

Thank God for Andrew's book! Inside you'll find pictures of the Rice family. You'll hear stories of his growing up years. You'll also get a tremendous look at American History, Religious History and the History of his family.  You will begin to understand the civil war and how religion played a part in it. You'll understand the firm stance of religious zeal and how it can divide people. You will also start to soften, in your heart, for the lost, and greatly appreciate a pure Christian faith.

From the book:

- Page 219  Billy Graham "was inspired by Rice's citywide revival campaigns and became an avid reader of The Sword of the Lord." [newspaper]

- Some of Billy Graham's first sermons were published in The Sword of the Lord newspaper. Billy was 23 years younger than Dr. John R. Rice.

- Page 204 "John R. Rice displayed a dramatic, emotional, and personable pulpit style. He was an old-fashioned, pulpit-pounding, sin-condemning, story-telling, hymn-singing evangelist."

This is a well researched book and is highly recommended for those who are interested in the Rice Family. I also want to strongly urge Christian  homeschoolers to get a copy of this book as well.  The History of our country, from the viewpoint of the Rice family, is priceless.

*Disclosure - Even though I received a copy of this book for review purposes, I would have gladly bought this book and written this review on my own. I am a longtime subscriber of The Sword of the Lord newspaper and am very grateful for its ongoing publication.*

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Taryn said...

This post reminds me of the book I am presently re-reading, What He Must Be-if he wants to marry my daughter by Voddie Baucham. It's about raising sons, family legacy,etc.