War and Grace is a terrific book. It contains thirteen mini-biographies all involving people caught up in the First or Second World Wars.
The stories are wonderfully varied. Some show how Christians involved in the conflict were helped and strengthened by their faith. Others tell of those converted during or following the war. There are stories of generals and civilians, and of both men and women. The stories tell of Americans, Britons, Germans and Japanese, of those who survived the war, as well as those who did not.
What marks this book out is the obvious love Don Stephens has the people he writes about. The following comment is not uncommon: ‘For over thirty years I have had the privilege of writing and speaking to…’ War and Grace is truly a labour of love. You feel that the author knows each of the men and women in the book, and as a result the reader feels he knows and understands them, too.
It would make a great gift for a teenage boy (and it’s not often you can say that about a Christian book). It’s real Boys’ Own stuff – though I hope that doesn’t put off ladies from reading it too. Did you know the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbour was later converted? Were you aware that the British secret agent who was the inspiration for 007’s ‘Q’ was a Christian? Had you realised the chaplain to Goering, Hess and the other Nazi leaders at Nuremburg was a believer? If not, you need to read War and Grace.
Almost everyone will enjoy and be helped by this book. The gospel is very clearly explained within each story, and therefore has great evangelistic potential. Yet believers will read it and be both challenged and encouraged. So buy at least two copies – one for yourself and one to give away!