I’ve heard the name of E.M. Bounds many times, though before reading E.M. Bounds: Man of Prayer by Lyle Dorsett, I could not have told you anything about him. Bounds, a moderately influential Methodist minister and author from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, served God in Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia while authoring a dozen books, several of which are still in print today. Bounds is most widely-known for his works on prayer.
Dorsett is concise and to-the-point in his journey through the life of E.M. Bounds. Sadly, there is simply not much factual data for him to have gathered. Happily, Dorsett does not take it upon himself to bring in a great deal of speculation and imagination to make his small book a larger work. He describes Bounds’ life, marriages (once widowed), and ministerial career.
What most interested me was Dorsett’s description of Bounds’ involvement in the Methodist church in the south during the initial rise of theological liberalism in the 1890s. Bounds was unwilling to accept the low view of Scripture that was invading Methodism from Europe.
While interesting, I cannot say that this book inspired me. If anything, Dorsett’s work has made me want to pick up one of Bounds’ books on prayer. But, for the most part, the book feels like reading a long and informative magazine article about the life of a name you kind of know, but not very well.
If you have read Bounds and would like to know his life story, I’d guess that this is about the best book you could turn to for that knowledge. If you just like reading biographies, even those without a great deal of drama, this is a fine choice. Otherwise, you might not find this book riveting.
The audio recording of this book from www.christianaudio.com is very well done. I found this narrator one of the easiest to listen to that I’ve heard. And, because the book is short, it only required a download of 2 files—much better than the large number of files in some books.