Monday, December 7, 2020

Book Club: Book Review of Jesus Freaks

 Text: Book Club: Book Review of Jesus Freaks; image of A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

My husband handed me the original publication a few years ago when I was asking for help researching men and women who were missionaries and served the Lord. When I saw that there was a revised and updated edition of Jesus Freaks available to review from Bethany House Publishers, I was very excited. This was the perfect opportunity to revisit the book for myself and share its meaningful stories with others. Jesus Freaks, written by dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs, tells the stories of those who stood for Jesus – the ultimate Jesus Freaks.  

books - Jesus Freaks from 2020 and the original publication

In the 414-page paperback book, readers are welcomed by messages from Michael Tait, Toby McKeehan, Kevin Max, and The Voice of the Martyrs. Don't worry if you are not familiar with dc Talk – I wasn't beyond the fact that my husband and stepson listen to their music and are fans – this book will still be very meaningful for you. The book asks several questions in the beginning: 

  • Is Jesus worth it? 
  • Why do you follow Jesus? 
  • Did they have to die? 
  • What about the persecutors? 
These stories are answered in the stories of individuals who found themselves in prison, tortured, or executed for their faith in Jesus. Stories are shared from the Apostles to people living in the recent past of 2018. In fact, there is a chronological listing in the back of Jesus Freaks, so you can see when each story took place in relation to the others. Scattered throughout Jesus Freaks are numerous quotes from the individuals whose tales are shared as well as from the Bible. 

Text: Book Club: Book Review; cover of Jesus Freaks 2020 publication

Who Are The Voice of the Martyrs? 

The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to serving persecuted Christians worldwide. I first became familiar with them after purchasing from an online Christian site when I was able to receive free access to some of their literature. VOM was founded by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, whose story is shared within Jesus Freaks, in 1967. The mission continues to this day by providing practical and spiritual support to Christian families who are or have been persecuted. Jesus Freaks provides a wonderful look into some of the individual lives of people who have been helped or whose families have been helped after their loved one was martyred. 

In the back of Jesus Freaks, readers will find the names of countries where Christianity is being persecuted to this day. There is helpful information, including a general overview of the nation, the major religion in the nation, which groups or organizations are responsible for the persecutions, what it means to be a follower of Jesus in that nation, as well as whether or not the Christians there have access to Bibles. Part of the ongoing work of VOM is to provide access to Bibles in these nations.

My Thoughts 

I really enjoyed being able to read and review Jesus Freaks. While the stories are often sad, they are uplifting because the people are truly demonstrating what it means to follow Jesus. They are able to learn important lessons about loving everyone – even those torturing them. I know I read many stories where the individuals did not think they would have the strength to maintain their belief in Jesus but they did. God gave them the courage and power to remain faithful. And in many cases, their faithfulness, their preaching even in prison, led others to Jesus, too. What a wonderful message to read!

I would recommend Jesus Freaks. I found it to be very inspiring and I made many notes of Bible passages I wish to reread as well as some stories that I want to revisit, too. I only have two criticisms. In the book, it mentions the snake that bit Paul as being poisonous. Snakes are not poisonous, they are venomous. This is a small point. The other problem I had was with the actual design of the book. The pages are not uniform which makes it difficult to flip through the book. I understand the idea behind the design – the original version of the book is like that, too – but I would have preferred a normal paperback-style book. However, these two small things do not change the fact that I will reread the book and share its message with others.

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