Dennis's Reviews > God's Smuggler

God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
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Mar 26, 15

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Read in March, 2011

This is by the authors of The Hiding Place, another book I found only so so. This time it's Brother Andrew, a Dutch former soldier who is converted to Christianity after reading the Bible upon his mother's death. In the aftermath of witnessing the atrocities of war in Indonesia, Andrew shifts course forever by devoting his life to the ministry and spreading the gospel.

There is much to be admired about those whose faith relies solely upon God and miracles to provide. The trouble I had with this book is the tendency the authors have to canonize their subjects very early on and then to allow that saintliness to serve as a foundation for the story, in this case as Andrew proceeds to smuggle Bibles into country after country within the Iron and Bamboo Curtains during the Cold War. Unfortunately, that approach leaves me feeling skeptical about the story because I am left with very little real sense for who Andrew actually is and the internal challenges that he must have faced after conversion. Instead, each miracle seems to emphasize disproportionately the positive, virtuous and miraculous aspects of his life, something that I believe can only be a partial sketch of the truth.

The other questions I have relate to the theological underpinnings of his mission to members of the "Church," which includes Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals, Anglicans, Orthodox, and others deemed to be Christian, and what in fact keeps those believers knit together in unity. This book is not meant as a doctrinal treatise, however, and what it does accomplish is to provide a glimpse into the faithfulness that exists among believers who live under the most oppressive and hostile regimes. In the end we learn that the KGB knew very early on what Brother Andrew was doing, had even read this book -- it was required reading for KGB officers -- and recognized that it could not stop him. This is testament to the fact that even the most earnest attempts at annihilating the faith of humankind will ultimately fail.
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