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Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  6,869 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Shadow of the Almighty is a modern classic story of faithfulness, obedience, and martyrdom. It is the best-selling account of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot and four other missionaries at the hands of the Huaorani Indians in Ecuador.

Shadow of the Almighty has inspired Christians since its first publication in 1958. Elisabeth Elliot makes full use of Jim's revealing diaries to
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by HarperOne (first published 1958)
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Cary Of course. This is my favorite Christian biography. It's a tale of a very real man who's fully sold out to Christ. A man who loved not his life unto…moreOf course. This is my favorite Christian biography. It's a tale of a very real man who's fully sold out to Christ. A man who loved not his life unto the death (Rev. 12:11).(less)

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4.39  · 
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 ·  6,869 ratings  ·  202 reviews


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Natalie Vellacott
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose."

This book could be read as a prequel to Through Gates of Splendor, also by Elisabeth Elliot. It is basically a biography of the life of Jim Elliot, from the perspective of his wife, his lengthy and detailed journals and his letters to his family/friends.

Jim Elliot's life was cut tragically short when he and four fellow missionaries were murdered by the Auca Indians in 1956 during one of their first outreaches to t
...more
G.M. Burrow
Jim Elliot's short, powerful life reminded me of what Christ's own life showed first: we are all born to die. It's up to us whether our lives simply peter out (result of the Fall and all that) or whether we find an altar, choose a cross, draw a line, pick an Alamo, raise a flag, and say, "Here. For this. For this I will give my life." One decision, many moments, throughout all the life God gives us.
Mari Mauries
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
It is difficult to find a story that stirs the soul quite like Jim Elliot's. His life reads just like a novel, and yet is all the more compelling knowing it really happened. He was a husband, a father, a missionary, and a martyr by the age of twenty-eight; most people do not live such a full life. The author and wife of Jim Elliot tells his story primarily through his own letters and journal entries, rather than her own narration, allowing the reader to dig deep into the mind and heart of Elliot ...more
Regina
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Regina by: Sonlight Curriculum
This book was difficult and troubling to read throughout since one knows the painful end from the beginning. It didn't help that the pages were filled with Jim's allusions to lives poured out for God early, for his own readiness for death. Was this premonition or youthful romance and bravado?

Beyond this aspect, however, I found the first two-thirds of the book down right disturbing on a personal basis. I felt that I did not like Jim Eliot and I suffered a dichotomy of soul to think that I did no
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J M Padoc
Rating is based solely on the writing. The format of telling most of Jim Elliot's story from his own words in journals and letters is effective, I suppose, but ends up rather dry. Oddly, I found Mr. Elliot's writing poetic and compelling at times. I wonder if Mrs. Elliot could have simply relied on his own words too much? Perhaps she could have summarized more events.

As for the person of Mr. Elliot . . .

One cannot read a biography without forming at least a cursory opinion of the subject. If the
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The other John
This one's a biography of Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed on the job in Equador back in 1956. Whereas the Woodrow Wilson biography I read preceding this one was a well crafted story, Shadow is more a collection of diary and correspondence excerpts, weaved together by a bit of narrative. I'm not quite sure how much I like the book. Overall, Jim Elliot came across as a sanctimonious young lad, quick to speak the word of Law to his peers and himself. Of course, I'm not quite sure how much o ...more
Emily
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would give this book's content 5 stars. It's a very inspiring biography about Jim Elliot- a man who gave his all for Christ and whose story still encourages and inspires many today. Written by his wife, this book gives a very personal look into his story.
However, I'd give the readability of this book 3.5 stars. Although the book content was wonderful, the way this book is written- full of many diary and letter excerpts- makes it harder to follow along than other biographies, and it doesn't flo
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Marla
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"I see clearly now that anything, whatever it is, if it be not on the principle of grace, it is not of God. Here shall be my plea in weakness; here shall be my boldness in prayer; here shall be my deliverance in temptation; at last, here shall be my translation. Not of grace? Then not of God."

"I think there is nothing so startling in all the graces of God as His quietness."

"We have found great joy in coming to the field as God's free folk. Answering to nobody but Himself, and with nobody's suppo
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Eugene O'Fallon
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime. Nor is surrender to the will of God (per se) adequate to fullness of power in Christ. Maturity is the accomplishment of years, and I can only surrender to the will of God as I know what that will is.”

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
Jimmy
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author Elisabeth Elliot was the wife of the famous missionary and martyr Jim Elliot. The author’s classic book on her husband, Through Gates of Splendor, was written in the 1950s but what makes this book different than the first one is that this is written many decades later. This book examines more of Jim Elliot’s own writing from his letters and personal diary. The letters examined include those written to Jim’s parents, siblings and Elisabeth before they got married. This book gives an ho ...more
D.A. Cairns
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I first read this book more than twenty years ago when I was a much younger man, and quite a new Christian. I was impressed and inspired by Jim Elliot who I saw as a kindred spirit: a man of intensity and dedication, someone who was much harder on himself than anyone else was. He learned to enjoy grace over time, but never wavered in his fervour to serve God.

This time, I saw the same man, but one who was so dedicated to what he believed God wanted for his life, that he lost it: killed by the ver
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Jeremy Zilkie
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
I love this book. It is one of my all-time favorites as it describes the short life of a man whose motto was the very Kingdom centered "He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose." The passion and resolve of Jim Elliot to follow the leading of God, which for him was to the unreached tribes of South America, ultimately led to his death and the death of his four teammates as they tried to share the gospel with a dangerous yet unreached tribe.

Dying before his
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Bambi Moore
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This account of Jim Elliot's life, told through his journals and letters to family, friends and Elisabeth, is a story of a man wholly committed to God. His words are beautiful, poetic at times, and his discipline and passionate pursuit of the knowledge of God was so inspiring. One great quote: "Father, make me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me."

Also inspiring was
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Eric
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people inspired by who God inspires other people
Shelves: christian
For one week in the winter of 2004, I was moved into a different apartment while mine was renovated. A few weeks earlier, our Bible study leader (who is now in seminary) was so inspired by this book that he bought each of us a copy. No TV, no distractions, cold depressing January, and Mrs Elliot held my complete attention with this awe inspiring tale. Fast forward 3 years, and a friend/former Bible study guy is moving across the country to train to become a missionary pilot, citing this book as ...more
Tori
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. Jim Elliot was very much a modern-day Paul. His love for God and passion for sharing the gospel are admirable. I found myself wondering at first what more he could have done had he lived a longer life but then realized that through his wife's sharing of Jim's story, countless people have been touched. Again, proof that God's plan is greater than any we can come up with.

I plan to read more of Elisabeth's writing as I have been inspired by these two. I feel like I'm a little late
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Luke D
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The principle of getting by spending is illustrated by the actions of God:

'He had yet one, a Beloved Son.'
'He giveth not the Spirit by measure.'
'He spared no His own son.'
'He emptied Himself.'

Is heaven the poorer for this spending? Nay, both heaven and earth are enriched by it: Who dare not follow God's example?" (P.250)
Ben Chapman
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The life and testament of Jim Elliot has served to increase my faith like nothing I've ever read, outside the Bible. Jim believed in a deep, serious obedience to Christ. And he was very unashamed of it. That's how he lived and that's how he died.
John Nail
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
After listening to Elisabeth Elliot in Urbana, IL at a Inter-Varsity mission conference I read the book. I have a deep respect for Jim and Elisabeth. I love the quote on the front of the book and have used it many times.
Reeds
Apr 15, 2019 added it
Shelves: elisabeth-elliot
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose."

Quote from another reviewer so I wouldn't have to find it again:
"This book could be read as a prequel to Through Gates of Splendor, also by Elisabeth Elliot. It is basically a biography of the life of Jim Elliot, from the perspective of his wife, his lengthy and detailed journals and his letters to his family/friends.
On reading about Jim's school life and growing experiences, I was impressed with his dedication to
...more
Eric Fults
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Great testimony of Jim Elliot's life. He was sold out for the Lord and desired to serve him with all that he had.

Somewhat dry to read since it is primarily a compilation of Jim's journal entries, which is beautiful, but also can be overly detailed and cumbersome to read at times. The book is pretty slow-going because of that. Also, you need to be very discerning as you read this. Especially in Jim's early days he was extremely set in his ways and his opinions and convictions come across as facts
...more
Jamie
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For content; an excellent book. Powerful testament of the life & death of Jim Elliot, a US missionary to the Haorani & Quechua indians of Ecuador. Finished the book convicted and encouraged for boldness of faith like Jim’s.

In terms of form/style, the book is a compilation of Jim Elliot’s prayer book, journal, and letters to family. At times it doesn’t flow perfectly, and could be confusing trying to keep track of who a passage was written to, but don’t let this stop you from reading it.
Chase Chandler
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly impactful. Beginning it, I believed that it was the story of a man’s death. I did not realize this was not the case until after I finished the book. This book is the story of a man’s incredible faith and obedience throughout his entire life. We are given a front row seat to how Jim Elliot lived every single aspect of his life for God. Amazing book.
Kendra
Very challenging. I enjoyed listening to Elisabeth Elliot read this book. Lots of great quotes from this young man who was faithful to serve his Saviour and wrestle with the difficult questions of life.
Kathryn Fairlamb
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best biographies and missions oriented books I have read. I learned so much about God in reading this book and His heart for the world to see all nations, tribes, and tongues know Jesus. "It is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call, or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you."
Melanie
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finally finished this story about the life of Jim Elliot. I am reviewing the book. The book was definitely written in another generation for an other generation. Saying that at times I found the book dry and boring. I will also say the last third of the book was much more interesting to me. For those who want to read this, read a little at a time. It is well worth completing.
BJ Chandler
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book for the third time and am again in tears. What the first 3/4 of the book lacks in intrigue and story-telling, the last 1/4 makes up for in the gripping, first-hand account of the inner life of a soon-to-be-martyr. This book, in spite of deserved criticism for writing style, is a gem and should be held in realm of Christian literature in high esteem.

Quote that has stirred my spirit: “I’ll tell you why I left home. Because those Stateside young people have every opportunit
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Susanna
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have treasured Elisabeth Elliot's other writings in the past, so I finally sat myself down and began to read from where her legacy begins, namely, the life of which she shared with her first husband, Jim Elliot.
If you seem to lack fire in your faith, passion to ignite your heart, and have not been yet confronted with the Divine challenge, then I highly recommend this book. I would also select it for those who desire to find themselves on the mission field someday. Jim seemed to have tenacity
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Callum Iles
In Short: ‘Shadow of the Almighty’ is a biography by Elisabeth Elliot of her husband Jim, whose life was tragically taken in the 50s by an Ecuadorean tribe he was ministering to.

For: It is a heart-breaking but inspiring tale that every Christian with a heart for the lost should familiarise themselves with.

Rating: 3.5/5

Elisabeth Elliot’s precursor to this book, ‘Through the Gates of Splendour,’ described in depth how a passionate group of young men left the safety of suburban America and took the
...more
Joy
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's hard to give any book by Elisabeth Elliot anything less than perfect, but I wanted the writing to move faster at times. The book was on the life of Jim Elliot. Perhaps grouping some of his experiences would have worked better than sticking to chronology. Nevertheless, what a wonderful accounting of an amazing life of a man early committed to God and his leading. In his short life, Elliot had a huge impact on the world. The book was mainly a collection of his journals and letters. He read mu ...more
Jennifer Tse
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
This is a very inspiring book about Jim Elliot's love for God and his strong faith. It was very challenging and encouraging reading about how Jim lived for God, despite his desire to get marry and the initial opposition of his parents. It is amazing that Jim never really hesitanted on his faith, choosing to major in Greek in order to serve God and not being upset about being unemployed after graduating from college. He certainly lived fully for God and his life changed many people. This is a gre ...more
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From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials. ...more
“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime. Nor is surrender to the will of God (per se) adequate to fullness of power in Christ. Maturity is the accomplishment of years, and I can only surrender to the will of God as I know what that will is.” 27 likes
“The devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.” 26 likes
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