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Father Mercer: The Story of a Baptist Statesman

Just today I received my copy of Tony Chute’s new book, Father Mercer: The Story of a Baptist Statesman (Mercer University Press).  Tony’s doctoral work and first book (A Piety Above the Common Standard) were on Mercer, and I have previously discussed here (and here) my appreciation of the previous book. Tony is a good scholar and writer so am I keen to read the book.

So far I have only had a chance to look through the book, but I like what I see. The first part of the book is an overview of Mercer’s life. The second part is a selection of Mercer’s writings including letters, newspaper essays, and addresses.

I particularly liked the way the story of Mercer’s life is framed by the description on the cover:

Yet, rather than telling the story of a larger-than-life pastor with whom few “ordinary” pastors can identity, Father Mercer reveals how one who is faithful in small things can, over time, bear much fruit for the Lord. Pastors who have been wounded by church members by their neglect of Christian duties will strike a friendship with Jesse Mercer who handled more than his share of opposition. College students who have left home for the first time will discover how God used the twists and turns in Mercer’s life to prepare him for opportunities he never foresaw.

We need examples of faithful people, “subject to like passions as we are”, who have persevered and been used of God. This looks like a great book.

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