The Life and Diary of David Brainerd Summary & Introduction


Lord’s Library editors compiled this brief that offers a short summary of The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, an American missionary to the Delaware Indians of New Jersey.

In The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, the author provides a firsthand account of the ministry of a young missionary to Native American tribes in the 18th century. Brainerd’s life was marked by his unmovable commitment to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ among indigenous peoples while facing harsh conditions, illness, and spiritual tribulation. It’s a recommended read by our editors.

Brainerd’s diary provides a glimpse into his struggles and deep relationship with the Lord via intimate prayer notes. His focus on the spiritual condition of the Native American tribes he served underscores the urgency in his action while his diary serves as the ultimate revelation of just how significant missionary work is to the body of Christ.

Those looking for information on this work commonly query Google for The Life and Diary of David Brainerd PDF (linked courtesy of Grace-eBooks), while others are searching for the title available on audiobook through Amazon.

Whatever the case, we made sure to link the best options in this space, and we hope you can take what we’ve written above, and what we outline below, to provide a worthwhile review for your friends, family, or next ministry project.

Note: The Life of David Brainerd is also available on audio CD.

The Gospel

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd Summary

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd Summary: Points to Know Before Reading

David Brainerd Dedicated His Life to Missionary Work

David Brainerd dedicated his life to missionary work among Native American communities, particularly the Delaware Indians (Lenape tribe). He had a mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to these indigenous peoples and saw himself as an instrument of God’s grace for their conversion. He spent years with them while learning their language and culture, to do this work.

And Wrote A Firsthand Account of it in Diary Format

The work is structured as a collection of daily entries, with each entry corresponding to a specific date, enabling readers to follow Brainerd’s experiences chronologically. Brainerd’s diary does not shy away from documenting his spiritual struggles and challenges either. He grapples with issues of faith, sin, sanctification, and his own unworthiness. His honest self-examination is a central theme.

He also records conversations, encounters, and efforts to communicate the Gospel to the Native Americans. Brainerd’s dedication to learning the language of the tribes he ministered to is evident in the diary. He documents his language studies and the challenges he faced in effectively communicating as well.

With Progress on His Mission

One of the highlights of Brainerd’s missionary work was the conversion of some Native Americans to Christianity. He shared the stories of individuals who embraced the Christian faith, often describing their personal journeys of faith and conviction. As a result of these evangelistic efforts, Brainerd initiated the baptism of Native American converts and helped establish Christian gatherings among them.

As Well As Theological Reflection

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd includes significant theological reflections by the author as he grapples with various aspects of his faith and ministry. Key theological themes include the sovereignty of God, human depravity, the Atonement, justification by faith, holiness and sanctification, prayer and dependence on God, the Great Commission, and the role of the Holy Spirit.

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Timothy Andrew
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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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