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Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the BrethrenExclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren by John L. Fear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A tribute to John Fear’s exceptional life...

The Exclusive Brethren Church may be somewhat of an enigma to those outside of the Evangelical Christian community. They’ve been called everything from a cult to a secretive sect. However, this review has little to do with their religious beliefs, and more to do with the life of an extraordinary man, John L. Fear.

This autobiography is the living record of a man, crisscrossed by the personal history of a family and the most intimate fibers of his being. It is an exemplary human response to a life well lived through the good times and the hard times. It’s a wonderful story mixed with history, social customs, travel, and belief.

John’s honest reflections about his life touched me as the curtain was about to close for him: ‘During the year immediately following my retirement, I had time to reflect deeply on how much I had failed to live by my Christian principles and on what an imperfect witness I had been to the Grace of God. There were incidents I regretted and times when I said things that were unkind. All of these needed time to bring to God and seek his forgiveness. Wherever possible I wrote to those whom I had wronged. At the same time I was grateful for all the opportunities I had been given for serving the Lord.’

I was equally touched by this statement that we could all learn and benefit from: ‘Looking back on life I would like to have been less preoccupied with myself, less dependent on the opinion of others, while remaining undisturbed by their criticism and unaffected by their praise.’

I really enjoyed the fact that this book was completed and edited by the authors sons Robert, and Alastair. The overall tone was simply imparting knowledge, personal experience, and wisdom in a gentle and generous way. I’ve no doubt he’d be immensely proud of both of you. Highly recommended reading and a well-deserved five stars from me.

Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren is a powerful and inspirational story that will leave you feeling like a better person for having read it. It’s an impressive work by the late John L. Fear. RIP.

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