This post contains affiliate links. For our Christian missionary book for this month, we chose C.T. Studd: No Retreat by Janet and Geoff Benge. None of us had heard of him before, and I have to say, by the end of the book, I didn’t much care for him.
About C.T. Studd: No Retreat by Janet and Geoff Benge
C.T. was born in 1860 in England to wealthy parents. He becomes a star cricket player and is planning on an easy life being an athlete. However, while he’s he’s away at school, his father becomes a Christian. When C.T. and his brothers are home from school, their father constantly bothers them to also become Christians. Eventually, C.T. does, as do his brothers.
He becomes more devout through the years and eventually abandons his cricket career to become a missionary. Despite his family’s strong objections, he enters the mission field in China along with several other English friends, earning them the nickname, “The Cambridge Seven.”
After his father dies, C.T. is supposed to inherit a great deal of money when he turns 26. C.T., deep in the mission field by then, promptly gives it all away.
C.T. goes on to be a missionary in China, India, and Central Africa. Considering he’s doing this in the late 1800s, he is definitely an adventurous man.
My Thoughts about the Book
As with all other books written by the Benges, the book was written well. The problem is that I didn’t like C.T.
While there’s no doubt of C.T.’s impact on the mission field, by the end, I found him extremely annoying and hard headed. His dedication in his youth was impressive; he truly trusted God and gave everything away.
However, in his middle and old age, he annoyed me. When he was in Africa, he didn’t take care of himself. After years there, he was encouraged to take a sabbatical, but he refused. His teeth were literally falling out, and he refused to seek help. Instead he said if God wanted his teeth fixed, God would send help. He looked decades older than he was.
While C.T. is busy in the mission field, his wife and son-in-law recruited missionaries from the United States to join him, but all he did was argue with them until the missionaries were so fed up they left. His wife wanted to visit him, but he refused her and forbade her to come to Africa. C.T. continually sacrificed his family, his time with them, and his relationships with them for his own beliefs.
I give C.T. Studd: No Retreat by Janet and Geoff Benge 2 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
Consider reading other YWAM Christian Heroes books that we enjoyed more: