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Elisabeth Elliot: A Life
Austen, Lucy S. R.

Elisabeth Elliot: A Life

ISBN: 9781433565915
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Book Description:

An In-Depth Biography on the Life and Work of Missionary Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) is one of the most widely known Christians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. After the death of her husband, Jim, and four other missionaries at the hands of Waorani tribesmen in Ecuador, Elliot famously returned to live among the same people who had killed her husband. Her legacy, however, extends far beyond these events. In the years that followed, Elliot became a prolific writer and speaker, touching the lives of countless people around the world.

In this single-volume biography, Lucy S. R. Austen takes readers on an in-depth journey through the life of Elisabeth Elliot-her birth to missionary parents, her courtship and marriage to Jim Elliot, her missions work in Ecuador, and her private life and public work after she returned to the United States. Through Elliot's example of love for God and obedience to his commands, readers will ponder what it means to follow Jesus.

Prologue: To a Watching World
Part 1: 1926-1952
  Chapter 1: Elisabeth Howard the Great
  Chapter 2: Be, Not Seem
  Chapter 3: For Christ and His Kingdom
  Chapter 4: Red Mud and Hoar Frost
Part 2: 1952-1963
  Chapter 5: In a Different Time, in a Different Place
  Chapter 6: Through the Waters
  Chapter 7: An Alien, a Stranger
  Chapter 8: Where Is Rehoboth?
Part 3: 1963-2015
  Chapter 9: The Will of God Is Not a Tightrope
  Chapter 10: Woman Was Made for Man
  Chapter 11: On All Sides
Epilogue: Much We Do Not Know


Lucy S. R. Austen (BA, University of Washington) is a writer, editor, and teacher who has spent over a decade studying source materials on Elisabeth Elliot. She has served on the editorial staff of the Spring Hill Review, contributed to various publications, and developed two high school English textbooks on prominent Christian authors. S. R. Austen lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.


"Lucy S. R. Austen's biography of Elisabeth Elliot is not only (by far) the best account we have of this fascinating woman; it is also a book that should inspire other biographers-both first-timers and veterans-to resist the relentless pressure to smooth out the rough edges of the lives they are seeking to chronicle. Here we have a story that will remind us of the twists and turns, the unexpected chapters, and the deep sense of grace that marks our own lives."
--John Wilson, Senior Editor, The Marginalia Review of Books; former Editor, Books & Culture

"Elisabeth Elliot first rose to fame by bringing the story of the 'Auca martyrs' to the world, but as this carefully researched and deftly written biography shows, she was much more than an iconographer. She became a provocateur who cast doubts on the triumphalism of the evangelical missions industry. She became an ardent critic of fundamentalist spirituality and cultural separatism. She encouraged a generation of evangelical artists and intellectuals who wondered if God really wanted to use their talents. And she was an arch-traditionalist who attacked modern egalitarianism, especially as it addressed gender roles. Elliot was a brilliant, difficult, and complicated person, and this biography treats her life with great sensitivity and honesty. Anyone who wants to understand Elisabeth Elliot, and indeed postwar American evangelicalism, needs to read this book."
--Joel Carpenter, Provost and Professor Emeritus, Calvin University; editor, Christianity Remade: The Rise of Indian Instituted Churches

"Lucy S. R. Austen's biography of the most famous American Christian woman of the twentieth century leaves no stone unturned. This extremely detailed account reveals the inner life of a very public woman, illustrating not only her high spiritual calling but also constant tensions related to her gender. Utterly committed to her understanding of the Bible's teachings about men and women, Elliot found herself at the whims of male Christian leaders and husbands with differing visions, as well as at odds with the women's liberation movement and egalitarian Christianity. This book nuances the two-dimensional picture of Elisabeth Elliot merely as the widow of a famous martyr to provide a multidimensional account of women in missions and American Evangelical Christianity."
--Gina A. Zurlo, Codirector, Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"In her day, Elisabeth Elliot was one of the most formidable women in all the world. This thoughtfully crafted biography tells the unlikely story of how a missionary kid became an American evangelical icon. Lucy S. R. Austen's eye for what made Elliot both remarkable and human renders this book an especially compelling read."
--Heath W. Carter, Associate Professor of American Christianity, Princeton Theological Seminary

Additional Information:

Cover: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 612
Publisher: Crossway
Publication Date: 2023