Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How I Learned To Stop Being Religious So I Could Follow Jesus
By Jon Walker

OVERVIEW: While poring over the classic writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer every day for a book he was writing, Jon Walker found his own world going through a storm of upheaval. After almost twenty years in ministry, he was laid off twice, lost his home and savings, and was diagnosed with bipolar ll disorder. And then his wife filed for divorce just a few days before their twenty-fourth anniversary.

Reading like a non-fiction novel that is both heart-breaking and heart-warming, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer reveals how God used the writings of Bonhoeffer to rescue him from a failing faith, where God's plans seemed more evil than good.

If you've ever felt abandoned by God or doubted his plans for your life, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer will help you see that God stays with you step-by-step. Here's a moving story of loss―and unexpected gain―that will deliver hope and renewal for fresh faith and a new day.

AUTHOR: Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor at, later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church. He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's Homelife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox. He is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary view of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (2010) and In Visible Fellowship:A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together (2011).

MY REVIEW: He's done it again. Jon Walker's new book, about how with the help of Dietrich Bonhoeffer he learned to stop being religious so he could follow Jesus, is a winner. The book was dropped at my door one morning when I was "under the weather." I really didn't even feel like reading but because I'm always excited to venture into a new book, I opened it slowly and began to read. That evening before bed time I slowly closed the book and smiled. Reading this book had been like being on a terrible journey. It was bad. But it was also good. This tough but honest book reminded me again and again that God is good. That God will never abandon us.

I agree with Mark Kelly, editor and publisher when he writes: "I don't know when I have read such raw, powerful stories filled with such profound, real-life spiritual insight...The greatest treasures in Christ are gained by those who persevere through the most dire tribulation. In these pages, Jon shares the treasures he has found."

Jon Walker is an excellent writer. I not only want to recommend this book I want to also recommend two more of his books that I have reviewed: Costly Grace--A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship  is also an excellent book as is In Visible Fellowship--A Contemporary View Of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All Opinions are my own.)


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Just as man is destined to die once,
                                                       and after that to face judgement.
                                                                                        Hebrews 9:27

Peggy Lee is not the only one to ask the question, "Is that all there is?" I have a friend who is a professor and  philosopher who has spent much time pondering the question of life after death. He is liberal in all of his thinking. He seems to have a ready answer for most of life's questions. But this one has him stumped.

Most of us long to live with certainty. We want to know without a doubt that we know the truth and that no surprises await us on the other side of eternity. But even with deep faith, there are doubts. Yes, doubts. I have had doubts all my Christian life. But in spite of that I have faith and I live by faith. 

Three men are in a plane: a pilot, a Boy Scout, and the world's smartest man. The engine fails, the plane is going down, and there are only two parachutes. The smart man grabs one. "I'm sorry about this," he says, "but I'm the smartest man in the world; I have a responsibility to the planet," and he jumps out of the plane. The pilot turns to the Boy Scout and speaks of how he has lived a long, full life and how the Boy Scout has his whole life in front of him. He tells the Boy Scout to take the last parachute and live. "Relax Captain," the Boy Scout says, " The world's smartest man just jumped out of the plane with my backpack."

John Ortberg writes: "Our world is full of smart people jumping out of planes with backpacks. One thing is for sure: sooner of later the plane is going down. We all are on the same plane. Smart guys and Boys Scouts alike: everybody has to jump. Everybody has to choose a parachute. No one will know who chose wisely until after the jump." But jump we must! I choose to jump believing God is there and that life goes on with Him.