Did you know….that Elizabeth Elliott is both the name of the woman who wrote Through Gates of Splendor, about her husband, Jim, and his friends, who were killed in missionary endeavors in South America, and the name of a top-selling skanky romance author.
Well, I thought it was funny. Then again, Elizabeth Elliott has always bugged me, so maybe that’s why.
I know, I know, I’m supposed to be a good little evangelical, Protestant girl and therefore Elizabeth Elliott’s story is supposed to move me to tears, make me want to go to the mission field, and make me want to buy everything she sells.
The truth is, the story is just plain cool. It’s an awesome story of faith, hope, and love overcoming darkness, fear, and pain. Only a special woman could have lived through that with the courage and fortitude she seems to have had.
The other truth is, though, that having lived, suffered, and laughed through that story earned Elizabeth Elliott a place among Christian authors that she should not have. She is not a good writer. Her theology is weird. Her books alienate good, Christian people who disagree with her or may *gasp* have sinned sometime in their past. She (and this surprises me, given the story of her husband and what happened after that) never learned to give truth with love, and thus seems to end up hurting people she could love.
I fully believe that the woman is capable of deep feeling, deep love, and deep forgiveness. She has to be, to have lived through what she lived through without being eaten up by bitterness. However, she never learned to communicate that in her writings. Thus, I find it highly amusing that the other woman author who shares her name seems to do an…um…rather good…job of communicating about deep feeling and deep love. Or something, anyway. Maybe she just uses Fabio for her cover model.