“Let me paint you a picture.” Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do when you are explaining a concept or term is to illustrate, or paint a picture, of that concept or truth. Joel R. Beeke does just that in his book, Portraits of Faith: What Five Biblical Characters Teach Us about Our Life with God. In this book, he introduces the reader to five biblical characters: Adam and Eve, the Shunammite Woman, The Canaanite Woman, and Caleb. He shows the reader what form of faith they displayed in their lives.
There is much in this book to appreciate. Beeke opens the book by making sure everyone is on the same page in answering “What is faith?” It is intriguing, then, the list of characters we are introduced to are not mentioned at all in Hebrews 11. I found that rather edifying that the author take us to passages we may not consider for the subject of faith. Still, I was a little perplexed with chapter 4’s heading of mature faith. A better title, such as persistent faith, may have better reflected the Canaanite woman’s story. Nevertheless, chapter 5, concerning Caleb and his persevering faith from Numbers 13:25-14:24, was the most edifying chapter for me. The illustrations, too, help enlighten the reader to the text. While some texts may not be clearly seen as to why they involve faith, Beeke does a faithful job explaining how each passage does (for example, Adam and Eve in chapter 2).
All in all, Portraits of Faith is a call for Christians to reflect. Joel Beeke paints a biblical picture for Christians of what it means and how it looks to live a life of faith. May we reflect that portrait.
I received this book for free from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.