David Brainerd, missionary to Colonial American Indians, repeatedly recorded sentiments like these in his personal journal: “I long to be as ‘a flame of fire’ [Hebrews 1:7], continually glowing in the divine service, preaching and building up Christ’s kingdom to my latest, my dying moment. … I long to burn out in one continued flame for God.” Such was the white-hot intensity and devotion of a man who came to be regarded as one of the most eminent missionaries and among the most consecrated disciples of Christ in the history of the Church. Though he served as a missionary but four short years before his untimely death at age twenty-nine, in that brief span of time his ministry was blessed by God with an astounding period of spiritual awakening among Indians who previously had known only abject paganism. Following his death, the esteemed Puritan pastor, Jonathan Edwards, published extensive segments of Brainerd’s private spiritual journal. For more than a quarter of a millennium Christians throughout the world have been greatly encouraged, instructed and challenged through the contemplation of Brainerd’s exceptional example and perspectives.
“Vance Christie has given us a thorough, engaging, meticulously documented but wonderfully readable chronicle of the life of David Brainerd. Christie makes Brainerd live and breathe for the twenty-first century reader in a vivid, colorful account of the young man’s heart, mind, and work. This is a splendid volume, full of insight into what drove Brainerd to give his life in the Lord’s service—despite several obstacles that would seem insurmountable to the typical person today.”
John MacArthur ~ Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California
Vance’s Story Behind the Book:
The birthing of David Brainerd, A Flame for God was more complicated than any other book I’ve written. Originally I wrote the book (under signed contract) for a publisher that ended up not publishing it. I invested two and a half years (on the side, as I carried out my full-time pastoral responsibilities) writing a comprehensive account (480 typed pages) of Brainerd’s life and ministry. After the original publisher stalled publication of the book for an additional two years, it agreed to my request that our publishing contract be dissolved.
Not long thereafter I was greatly blessed and deeply grateful when the Lord led Christian Focus Publications to accept my orphaned manuscript for publication. I was asked, however, to reduce the original manuscript by a full third (to 320 typed pages). Christian Focus rightly foresaw that most people wouldn’t tackle the reading of nearly 500 pages on Brainerd, no matter how worthy a subject he was! The reduction process actually proved to be far less painful than I anticipated. It had been over two years since I had completed the original manuscript so I was able to be more objective about which parts it really wouldn’t hurt to eliminate. Christian Focus published the book as part of its History Makers series in 2009, more than six years after I had first started writing the manuscript for the original publisher.
One of the most encouraging instances of feedback I’ve received concerning the Brainerd biography came from the wife of a pastor friend of mine. In the providence of God, she read the book in the fourth year of her husband’s young ministerial career, the whole of which had been marked by considerable difficulties. She was struck by the fact that Brainerd had to endure even greater trials than theirs and that his ministry career lasted only four years before his untimely death from tuberculosis. The Lord used Brainerd’s example to hearten her to continue faithfully serving Christ, despite the attendant hardships and for whatever length of time they were given to serve Him.
Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
Publication Date: 2009
Page Count: 320
Available Formats: Paperback, E-book
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