In the last couple years, I've read three novel/biographies about some recent-day Christians who've brought their faith into physically demanding missionary work. I first read Chasing the Dragon, followed immediately by The Cross and the Switchblade, and I just recently finished Bruchko.

I had been putting off reading Bruchko, but when David Zimmel referred extensively to it during the high school boys retreat I helped with, I decided to finally take the plunge. I had been hearing not-so-glowing thoughts about it from Kyle, so I figured I would quell my curiousity on multiple levels.

Bruchko is a keeper. I say that primarily due to the wide variety of readers I think it can be appealing to. It's not long and rambling, but it does jump back and forth in time, giving you more picture to work with without losing your attention. Bruce takes a very honest, critical look at various points of contact that Christianity had with his life, but the ongoing theme is his desire to bring Jesus as accurately as possible to people.

I guess what resonates the most with me is how Bruce embraces a primitive native culture and society, and slowly immerses Jesus into their midst, instead of drawing them away from their homes toward his idea of Jesus. If you have ever worried that missionaries can be too divisive, confrontational, assuming, or demanding, this is the book you need to read in it's entirety. The first half will not do. A chapter here and there won't either. Just give it a shot.