Saturday, October 23, 2010

Costly Grace by Jon Walker

Bonhoeffer wrote The Cost of Discipleship over 70 years ago. Walker has interpreted Bonhoeffer's work for the present generation.

Walker's book is penetrating. Almost every paragraph required careful thinking. His writing is not difficult, just very convicting. If you read only a couple of Christian books this year, this needs to be one of them.
Walker notes that many Christians today end up living a life of quiet desperation, trying harder rather than trusting more. “The essence of discipleship,” Walker says, “...is to know Jesus at a level of intimacy that can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives.” (21)
Bonhoeffer was concerned about cheap grace, “the arrogant presumption that we can receive forgiveness for our sins, yet never abandon out lives to Jesus.” (25) Most Christians go to church a couple of hours a week, go to a Bible study, but rarely do we see radically changed lives. We have allowed cheap grace to be the norm of Christian living today.
Walker says Jesus' call is a command to abandon our life so he can fill us with his life. It is an intimate journey down a difficult path. We must listen to Jesus and do what he says. Paul says we have the mind of Christ and we access Christ's mind by meditating on God's Word and listening to the Spirit. Jesus calls us to a life of total dependency on him as we are called to do things that are impossible for mere humans.
Walker is specific with the cost. “The cost of discipleship, then, is this: The way we become like Jesus is through suffering and rejection.” (61) “Everything that touches you is designed to de-center you from your self-for-self mentality in order to be recentered in God's self-for-others nature.” (196)
Walker summarizes each penetrating chapter with bullets of kingdom thinking and questions upon which to meditate.
I'd read Bonhoeffer's book several months ago. It certainly did not have the impact that Walker's book has had. Every Christian should read this book.

Leafwood Publishers, 237 pages.

This book was provided for review by The B & B Media Group, Inc.
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