Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Passion & Purity by E. Elliot

Elliot, E. (1984). Passion and Purity. Revell.Grand                Rapids, MI. p 184

Elisabeth Elliot's Passion and Purity is subtitled 'Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control.' It is riddled with excerpts from her journal, from letters written to her, with letters from Jim Elliot, and with scripture. It is a sort of autobiography or memoir of those five years between meeting Jim and marrying him that lets the reader into their life and thoughts.

There were some good points, some quotable parts, and several chapters or paragraphs that hit home. But overall it seemed so distant, so far removed from myself. It seemed I was entering a private book, one I wanted to finish, but didn't necessarily relate with one hundred percent. And the letters from Jim? I was surprised at them, actually. He was rather... forward. Often I felt slightly embarrassed to read them. The story itself is beautiful; two people mutually attracted to each other and in love, but wanting to serve God first and foremost even if it meant being away from each other, or never being married. That story in itself has many lessons to teach us about surrender and trust, lessons that apply in many areas of our lives and not just the love life.


Carrie said...

It's been a very long time since I've read this book. Now that you mention it, I do remember Jim's letters being rather forward and my being surprised.

I like your concluding remark. Definitely a good reason to read the book - regardless of one's love life.

Nicole said...

Thanks for stopping by, Carrie.

Yes, I wasn't quite sure /what/ to think when I first read some of his letters, honestly I couldn't believe it was the same Jim Elliot I had heard about before. It just didn't seem right. But of course, it is not as if they had just met and he suddenly started writing to her like this. I am sure there were other letters in between that lead up to it. But still, I was not expecting that.
I was just turned off a little because of their adamant focus on physical purity, but their apparent non-concern for emotional purity.

Surrender and trust are difficult, no matter what part of our lives they are in; love life or otherwise.

Ruth said...

That is interesting--this was a book I read as a teenager, and it resonated with me so much. It was my introduction to Jim And Elisabeth Elliot. I cannot say that I felt strange when reading the book--I still remember the letters and the way Jim Elliot behaved. Actually, it made me feel better. Here was a man of God who was not perfect. He was a martyr, and yet he was not perfect. I always considered this recommended reading for teenage girls, especially.