Did you know that Katharina was the one who proposed marriage to Martin Luther, that Charles and John Wesley met with scandal and opposition in America, and that John Newton was a bad-tempered, rebellious alcoholic. Ed and Janice Hird reveal these historical bits and many more in their recently released book God’s Firestarters—Preparing Our Families for Coming Revivals.
In twenty fast-paced chapters the Hirds delve into the lives and impact of twenty giants of the Christian faith. These stories span centuries from Katharina Luther (1499-1582) and Susanna Wesley (1669-1742) to the 21st century and Chuck Smith (1927-2013), John Wimber (1934-1997), and J. I. Packer (1926-2020).
The accounts are tightly written with the abundant corroboration of a Wikipedia profile (there are a total of 717 endnotes). This is testimony to the rigorous research that has gone into each story. That’s a good thing too, for some of these accounts are almost unbelievable in the way God worked—through unlikely people, doing unlikely things, in unlikely places.
Though the stories are interesting and many entertaining, the Hirds’ real motivation in writing this book was not merely to relate lively histories, but to spark in readers a desire for more of the same surrender, obedience, faith, and audacity that was present in these revival firestarters. I would say it succeeds. The book concludes with this prayer expressing the heart of the authors: “Wake us up. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Send the fire once again. Revive us, transform us, renew us, refresh us in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
A set of Discussion Questions precedes the Endnotes, making this a great choice for Bible study groups or book clubs.
I received a digital copy of God’s Firestarters from the author in order to write a review.