The biggest compliment you can give to Terry Austin is that he looks like his father. Not so much in physical appearance, although there is some resemblance, but in the way he lives. This book, "My Two Fathers," explores how an earthly father can shape how we live and understand God.
Bill and his son Terry shared a similar life-changing experience. The father lost his right leg in the legendary battle on Iwo Jima. The son lost the use of his legs after a bout with polio as an infant. This shared situation provided a unique opportunity for this father to teach his son the basic truths about God. Terry understands that he has two fathersone earthly and the other heavenly.
Every person develops an attitude about God from those who are fathers for them. Those fortunate enough to have a father with great faith have a tremendous head start toward a healthy spiritual life. Some fathers are cruel, overly demanding, absent, violent and make it difficult for their children to develop a healthy relationship with God. Terry understands that when it comes to fathers, he won the lottery.
"My Two Fathers" is a powerful story of the impact one man's life has on the life of his son. As you read the pages of this book, at times you will feel a tear, and at others, you will hear a chuckle. Through it all, you will walk away with a better understanding of God.
If you want to read a pastoral perspectivetestimony would be the correct word if it weren't so old-fashioned and out of vogueof a minister sure of his voice and witness, read anything by Terry Austin. You will get the unvarnished version, before the marketing lathe has been applied to the brutal confessional plaster. Terry is the quintessential Baptist preacherone of our very bestunadorned by contrivances of ego or popular appeal, armed not with shiny ecclesial trappings but only with the Word of God. This book is about a son and a father, inextricably bound in love one for another, but with a rawboned frontier Baptist sensibility that shirks any sentimentality. A remarkable memoir, told in a voice so true and pitch perfect that you will long for a church, and a pastor, with such purity of heart. An essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of father and family, and what that has to do with God.
Charles Foster Johnson
Pastor, Bread Fellowship of Fort Worth
Executive Director, Pastors for Texas Children
"The book was a really hard read for me because the second 25 years of my life with my dad didn't go well. The book helped me dig into that and step back into working through my lost relationship with my dad. "My Two Fathers" is moving, inspiring, and challenging. As a dad, I'm reminded that I need to show up like that for my kids. I was drawn to Terry's dad and sorry that I never had the opportunity to know him. God revealed himself to Terry in a lot of ways through his father and the book helped me see a number of ways that God revealed himself to me in spite of my dad and his issues, and that was a great realization. I was touched and moved in so many ways by how Terry's dad showed up and how he modeled Jesus."
Elder, Mosaic Church, Fort Worth, TX
This book about a father, written by his son, Terry, describes well the influence that he had on his son and the lessons learned about the Heavenly Father from his earthly father. I have had the privilege of knowing both of these men. I have seen Terry's tenacity in fighting to keep his crippling handicap from polio as a child from slowing him down in his quest to live a full and productive life. His humor, spirit of caring, and deep commitment to the Lord have made that a reality. I think this book illustrates so well the influence which fathers have on their sons as well as the responsibility of demonstrating good principles of life and faith before them. Bill did this, and with Terry, it took.
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