Friday, July 10, 2015

(Review) Passing Through: Pilgrim Life In The Wilderness by Jeremy Walker

Publication Date: May 20, 2015.
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books.
Genre: Nonfiction, Christian life.
Pages: 300.
Source: Free paperback from Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars for (almost) excellent.

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An interview with Jeremy Walker by Shaun Tabatt. 

Jeremy Walker is a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England, author of Life in Christ and The Brokenhearted Evangelist, coauthor of A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a True Minister of Christ.

Summary:
Passing Through's opening chapter asks the Christian reader to remember and examine, "who they are?" What is my identity? Walker further asks, "...how are we relating to the world?" 
Jeremy Walker is building his case for Christians who must live in the world but not act like the world. We cannot live as hermits. Christ has not asked us to live in seclusion, but to spread the Gospel message, both in word and by our lives. 
"I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me." Psalm 119:19.  
We are strangers and pilgrims on planet earth, but for now this is our home and it is our mission to live and glorify God. 
While we are on earth, we must live alongside unbelievers and yet remain steadfast to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Listed chapters:
"1. A Way in the World
2. Strangers and Pilgrims
3. Understand the Environment
4. Know the Enemy
5. Fight the Battles
6. Pursue the Mission
7. Respect the Authorities
8. Relieve the Suffering
9. Appreciate the Beauty
10. Anticipate the Destiny
11. Cultivate the Identity
12. Serve the King" 

My Thoughts: 
Over-all I loved Passing Through
There were moments when I wanted to "high-five" or raise my hand up and say Amen! 
However, there were also moments when I felt the teaching lingered too long at one phase and I'd gotten the point and was ready to move-on. 
At first, I thought Passing Through is a perfect book for a new Christian. However, at this issue a new Christian may become bogged down by the lengthy examinations. 
I love to read, study, and analyze material. I love to read and reflect on what I've read. lingering on questions and pondering the answer. But not all readers enjoy this type of book. They want just the facts, short points, and strong brief illustrations.

What I loved about Passing Through:

  • Chapter 4 and 5 are applicable chapters at any stage of our life and or spiritual growth. "Know the Enemy" and "Fight the Battle." In these chapters, Walker reminds us we do not give up in this life in fighting the battle against the world and its master. We are to follow our "captain" the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to live by faith. We are to cling to the Word of Truth. Walker is straight-forward in stating, the Christian life is not a "bed of roses, but a path of thorns." 
  • Chapter 10 examines having an "unhealthy attachment to this world." This life is not all there is and we are just "passing through." Page 197. 
  • Chapter 11 has a convicting question: "If someone had to make a judgment about the Lord Jesus Christ from observing you and your life what conclusions would he draw?" Page 222. 
  • I loved the definition of a Welsh word and Walker's use of comparing it to our life on earth. "The Welsh have a word, hiraeth, which is used, for example, to describe the Welshman or woman who is away from the homeland and therefore experiences a deep sense of incompleteness tinged with longing. It is even used when in Wales to speak of a wistful desire for a sort of idealized country. Christians should suffer a holy hiraeth, a sort of heavenly homesickness that ought to become more painful the longer they are absent from the place where an increasingly holy person truly belongs."  Page 229.
  • Lastly, chapter 12 is on serving the Lord. As a Christian there is only One way and no other way. We follow the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not stop to diddle-daddle. We persevere. We continue on. It was in this last chapter that it finally dawned on me that Passing Through is a book to cheer on a Christian in this life on earth. I'm reminded of Hebrews chapter 12:1-2 " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  

A Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway. Bible translation is NIV.
https://www.biblegateway.com

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