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Book Review: Costly Grace, A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship by Jon Walker

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $10.87
Not available on Kindle

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
Paperback $11.99
Supplemental Devotional $10.99

Link for the book @ publisher:
Paperback $15.99
Devotional $13.99
Jon Walker's website:
Grace Creates 

 Published by Leafwood Publishers October 2010, 224 pages

The foreword was written by Rick Warren the pastor of Saddleback Church  .
Jon Walker served as editor in chief of LifeWay's HomeLife magazine and he is the founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox.
I am a reader of HomeLife magazine and I remember Jon Walker well.

Costly Grace is the 25th Christian non-fiction book that I've read this year.
Costly Grace is by far the deepest, most convicting, thought provoking non-fiction book that I've read this year. I was not convicted just once, but again and again. Page after page, statements were made that pricked my heart, made me pause and pray, moved me to confess my own wrong thinking and wrong actions.
At the last book club meeting I told my group about this book and it was unanimous that this would be our next book for discussion.
From the previous statement above I'm sure you are curious as to what exactly did I read that convicted me?
In the foreword Pastor Warren wrote, "Our lives must change or we have to question if we're really following Jesus. Our only certainty is in Jesus."
I asked myself has my life changed? I took the question a little deeper, has my life changed to where Jesus would have it to be?
A second example: "Discipleship may mean sacrificing for others who will have no appreciation for what you've done-much like Jesus who was ridiculed as He died on a cross..... How much of your service to Jesus is based upon what is convenient for you and how much of it is based upon you doing what Jesus tells you to do?" page 41
This question strikes me at the heart of what I've been doing for many years and that is caring for my dad.
I've got to get it into my thick head that the work that I have been doing is not just for dad; but for Jesus. And Jesus knows, far greater that I ever could the whys and how longs. This service of care-giving is for a season and it will last as long as He ordains. 
Costly Grace is 28 short chapters, with at the end of each chapter a pause for further reflection, not with questions; but with examples of fallen thinking and kingdom thinking, followed by a your choice question. These are meant to stir our hearts and minds further towards the right way of discipleship.
I felt the book was straightforward, never did I feel looked down upon in judgmental-ism; instead the authors words were firm, honest, and written in love.
The words cheap grace was expressed several times in defining the "arrogant presumption that we can receive forgiveness for our sins, yet never abandon our lives to Jesus."
We have to let go. I know you've heard this before, let go and let God. It is as if we are hanging on to the sides of the swimming pool afraid of the deeper end, we are white knuckling it. Costly Grace means we let go and trust God with it all. All of it. It means we trust Him letting go of those things we thought we needed and that life we thought was safe and fun, and instead live the gut altered radically changed Christ exalting life.
One of my favorite chapters was on stopping the toxic judgmental view of others that have not accepted Jesus. We are not to look down upon them, nor be critical or hateful. "They are in need of grace just as we are." Amen.

Blissful Reading!

Thank you to Leafwood Publishers and B and B Media for my free review copy.


Douglas Dahl said…
Thanks for the review. I think the story of Dietrich Bonhoffer one of the most fascinating and challenging one of our times. It is interesting to me to see Rick Warren introducing a book on him. Only because Bonhoffer appeared more confrontational with the civic government then Warren appears to be...maybe I am just misreading Rick Warren however.
Annette said…
Other that the book The Purpose Driven Life I've not read anything else Rick Warren has written. I do know there are many in the Christian community that don't care for him.
I am hoping that under the Christmas tree is Eric Metaxas book on Bonhoeffer. I can't wait to read it!
Have you noticed that lately there seems to be an increase of writers using Bonhoeffer's quotes?
Thanks Douglas for commenting.