Shadow of the Almighty

Jim Elliot was one of the five men killed by the Auca Indians in the jungle of Ecuador. This is a collection of his
journals and letters. His passion for Jesus is off the charts. You will be inspired!

“Shadow of the Almighty” has perhaps influenced me more than any other book.  Outside of the Bible, I have gone through this book more often than any other book.

It is the story of Jim Elliot, taken largely from his journals and letters.  He was killed when he was only 28 years old, by the Auca Indians in the jungles of Ecuador, the tribe that he was seeking to reach for the gospel.

Though still a young man when he died, Elliot exuded a passion for Jesus Christ.  Perhaps more than anyone I know of in recent times, Elliot reflects the kind of passion for Christ and surrender to Christ that I see in the Apostle Paul.

Reading the book again this summer, I was blown away by his unusual zeal for Christ and his cause. Moreover, he is one of the most quotable people I have ever read.  For example, when he was only 22 years old, he wrote, “He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

 Here are some of his strengths:

  • He had an enormous passion for Christ.
  • He was surrendered to Christ – all-out obedience. He had a huge heart for lost people.
  • He knew the Bible so well. He thought biblically.
  • He was unafraid to be different than others.  He did not follow the crowd. He was an excellent writer.
  • He read widely – not just Christian books. He was very intelligent.
  • He had a good sense of humor, even a tad mischievous. He appreciated poetry and had memorized lots of it.
  • He was bold and courageous and unafraid to die.

Elliot, of course, was not perfect.  Here are some of his weaknesses:

  • He could be too critical of people.
  • He was too narrow on the church.  
  • He came from the Plymouth Brethren movement, a great group of believers.  But in Elliot’s mind, if church wasn’t done in the Plymouth Brethren way it just wasn’t biblical. 
  • He needed to realize the streams of the Christian faith and how God uses different traditions.  If he had lived, I bet he would have been less judgmental about other traditions.
  • He could be too opinionated and dogmatic about certain things. He could be so serious at times.  He could stand to chill out a bit.