Whatever It Takes: The Amazing Adventures of God’s Work Around the World. By Dub Jackson. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003. 233 pages. Softcover, $12.99.

 

Dub Jackson is a man on a mission, and his book has a message stated clearly in the Preface: “Our prayer is that the reader will be reminded that God is always able to do all things, anywhere, any time when we believe and ask in faith.” (p. xv) As the title describes, Jackson keeps the focus of this book on God and His work as seen and known in Jackson’s personal experience.

 

One part autobiography, one part missions history and strategy text, one part prayer advocacy, and one part enthusiasm, Whatever It Takes will encourage and exhort any Christian reader to trust God and to obey God even when it means attempting things only God can do.

 

As a World War II bomber pilot who retrained to become a P-38 fighter pilot in the Philippines, Jackson was among the first Americans to land a plane on Japanese soil, giving him a bird’s eye view of the devastation of Japan and the needs and opportunities for Christian missions among the Japanese. He never lost his desire to see Japan turn to Jesus Christ as Lord.

 

Reflective of his heart for Japan, Jackson wrote:

 

I have often thought that after World War II, Baptists alone could have accepted General MacArthur’s challenge to send ten thousand missionaries to Japan. Had we done so, we could be talking about a Christian nation today! (p. 19)

 

Jackson and his wife, Doris, became two Baptist missionaries to Japan. Taking with them an unshakable belief in what became known as Partnership Evangelism, a crusade-style evangelistic program that heavily involves indigenous Christians in mass preaching and witnessing activities alongside American Christians, the Jacksons began a life-long journey that would lead to the day that the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board adopted Partnership Evangelism as a major component of its worldwide program.

 

Throughout the book, Jackson relates events and circumstances in which God provided that could not otherwise be explained. From finances to relationships and timing, Jackson shares story after story for which he gives God both credit and glory.

 

Whatever It Takes succeeds in arousing in Christian readers a desire to see God do things only God can do. Its stories are compelling, and the writing is energetic. The book drives home the need for missions and the validity of direct evangelism both in the United States and around the world. Certainly every Southern Baptist should read this book.

 

Waylan Owens

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary