Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders: 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God – Shirley Raye Redmond

Brave Heroes Shirley Raye Redmond
Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders: 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God by Shirley Raye Redmond
Published by Harvest House Publishers on October 6, 2020
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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Men of Fearless Faith
Meet men who have used their God-given talents to live out their faith to the fullest. They come from a variety of backgrounds, eras, and ethnicities, but each one has answered the Lord’s call on their life in bold and innovative ways.
Children of all ages will be inspired by the stories ofC.S. Lewis—professor and author of the influential Chronicles of Narnia seriesZhang Boli—Chinese dissident, journalist, and Christian pastorRichard Allen—former slave and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal ChurchTim Tebow—athlete, Heisman trophy winner, and outspoken follower of ChristFather Damien—priest who dedicated his life to helping lepers in HawaiiThese and the 45 other defenders of the faith featured in this book have made a profound impact on the world around them, and in many cases changed the course of history. Strong, smart, and sometimes outspoken, these men are tremendous examples of God’s love in action.
These inspiring profiles will captivate kids’ imaginations and encourage them to discover their own gifts and how they can use them to glorify God.       

Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders is a sequel to Shirley Raye Redmond’s previous book about Christian women. In this collection, she shows how Christian men of different nationalities, races, and walks of life have honored God and made the world a better place for others. She covers a wide range of subjects, including both highly familiar figures like Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, and Martin Luther, along with more obscure names. This anthology ranges in time from 1181 to the present, from the birth of Saint Francis of Assisi to the lives of current figures such as Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, and Jeremy Camp. These biographical sketches all include an illustration on the opposing page, and I appreciate how well the illustrator captured familiar likenesses.

Different Types of Heroes

Throughout this collection, Redmond honors contributions from a wide variety of figures, showing that there is more than one way to be a good man. The book includes pastors, missionaries, sports stars, political figures, doctors, writers, artists, businessmen, and others, and even though each biographical sketch is only a page long, Redmond packs in a lot of information, explaining each man’s background and covering their significant accomplishments. I wish that the bios were in chronological order, because it is hard to get a sense of which men are contemporaries of each other, but I am glad that Redmond did not categorize them by their spheres of influence, because even though that is a common organizational approach, it can put people in boxes. This book shows how individual men honored God in different ways throughout their lives, based on their gifts and changing life situations.

However, this book isn’t perfect, and does not fully acknowledge problematic elements of some of these men’s lives. For example, the book only mentions George Washington’s slave ownership in the context of his will, in which he emancipated his slaves after his death and funded ongoing care for the sick and elderly. Although this was far above what many of his peers did, the book does not address the difficulty of honoring someone who enslaved people during his lifetime, no matter how truly pious, otherwise honorable, and world-changing he was. If a family reads this book together, this can start important conversations about how people sometimes do wrong things because they are conformed to their culture and the norms around them, but because this is the last sketch in the book, it ends on a somewhat indifferent note.


Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders: 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God is an inspiring collection of short biographies about Christian men of different backgrounds and talents. I would recommend this to both children and adults, and even though it works well as an independent read, it could also be part of family devotions or a bedtime routine. Parents who love history or want to provide additional perspective about some of these men may want to read this book with their children, discussing different topics that arise. Because each section is so brief, this book would work well as a family read-aloud, and it could also be a great resource for homeschooling and Christian schools.