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Eric Liddell a Life

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    Write about the life of a prominent Christian person (other than Martin Luther King or Nicky Cruz) from the 19th Century or later. •Describe the key events in this person’s life (400 words – 7 marks) •Analyse the influences that shaped the actions of this person (300 words – 6 marks) •Evaluate this person’s overall contribution to society (300 words – 7 marks) Eric Liddell – A life Describe the key events in this person’s life (400 words) Eric Liddell, know by many as the ‘Flying Scotsman’ because of his Scottish heritage and his talent in sprinting, was born in Northern China in a town called Tianjin.He was born in 1902 to Reverend and Mrs James Liddell.

    His parents were Scottish missionaries who were connected with the London Missionary Society and this would affect Liddell’s life in a huge way as he got older. By the time Eric was six he was enrolled in a special school for children with parents who were missionaries. This college is located in South London so this would have been a huge thing for a six year old to endure. This event in his life was a key one because it would help him on his way to becoming one of the most famous missionaries in the world.

    At his boarding school Eltham Eric excelled in the sporting field.He was awarded the Blackheath Cup for the best athlete of the year and was in the 1st XI and XV by the age of 15. It became widely known that Eric was the fastest man in Scotland at the time and a lot of people where saying that he had the potential to be an Olympic gold medal, this would be a key event in his life because no one had won an Olympic medal for Scotland before. After his schooling years Eric began to use is ‘famous’ to attract crowds when he started speaking for the Glasgow Students’ Evangelical Union (GSEU).

    After Liddell’s graduation and Olympic career he continued to compete.He returned to his birthplace of Tianjin and began his famous work as a missionary. He worked there from 1925-1943 but it was not all in Tianjin, he later moved to Shaochang. Even during this time he was still running and competing.

    He would race and win over members of the French and Japanese Olympic teams. His first job as a missionary was teaching at an Anglo-Chinese College for wealthy Chinese students. Another of his many responsibilities was the superintendent of a Sunday school. Working here would be a key event in his life because his father was the pastor of the Sunday school so he would have had a lot of influence from him.

    Analyse the influences that shaped the actions of this person’s life Eric Liddell was a man of strong Christian beliefs, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure,” and he used his faith in God to push himself to the edge on the sporting field and to help him retain courage and strength when performing missionary duties in China. Growing up in a very ‘Christian’ associated community, Eric Liddell would have been very influenced by these Christian beliefs. The resulting experiences Eric went through were majorly influenced by his Christian faith.For example, Eric was selected to compete in the 100 metre and 200 metre in the Paris Olympics but he refused due to the fact that theses races were held on a Sunday, which to Eric was a day of rest, also known as the Sabbath, and it would go against his religion to compete on this day.

    His Christian faith would have also helped him deal with all the abuse and anger that the British people felt towards him. Eric, although many people doubted his ability in this event, ran the 400 metres later on which he had not trained or prepared for, he one the gold medal and set a new world record.Also Eric is very well known for having served as a missionary in China in the town where he was born. Again Eric’s Christian beliefs would have influenced his decision to give up his ‘normal’ life back in Scotland and start a new life helping the less fortunate and the people who lived in extreme poverty.

    The influence of family would have been important in Eric actions as well. With his parents spending many years of their lives as missionaries in china and his sister leaving for china while he was young he would have been very influenced to make that journey to another country.Lastly, towards the end of Eric life he fell ill and got very sick. He saw many doctors and they all told him to settle down and take a break from his hectic missionary schedule but he insisted on keeping up his work.

    His strong faith in Christ would have provided him with strength to continue this work and this would have been a big influence on him. Eventually his sickness became to overwhelming and he died in 1945. Evaluate the person’s overall contribution to society Eric Liddell’s overall contribution to society, more specifically the Christian society, is a very significant one.During his life he made many different contributions in different areas of his life.

    For example, when he competed in the Olympics he made huge contributions to Britain and to the people of his country. He also made contributions to the poverty stricken societies of China where he worked as a missionary and helped so many underprivileged families with their lives. Overall Eric Liddell’s contribution to society is one of the most selfless things anyone has done in history and has definitely shaped the way the world is today.

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