13 May 2010

Stephen Smallman's The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus

It's a very good book, published last year by P&R ($9.99 from WTS books, $10.39 new from Amazon). I think a friend of mine is close to surrendering his life to Christ and when he does, this is the book I will give him because it truly does start at the beginning: early chapters address what the Bible is, what prayer is, what the gospel is; one finds encouragements not to get hung up on Bible passages that are confusing; the book includes introductions to people like Martin Luther and C. S. Lewis and sidebar definitions of faith, free will, regeneration, etc.

I've been looking for the right book to have a group of seminary-type guys read on discipleship, and this is not the book--too basic for that. But for truly new believers it would be great. Steve (if I may) uses Mark and Romans as his two templates for building a basic structure of discipleship for his readers.

Happily, one consistent note that is struck is that the gospel is not only to be passed on to unbelievers but also fed upon by believers (see pp. 69, 76, 79, 80, 215-16). That's something that has been coming home to me the past few years and, it seems, is forming something of a groundswell among my generation across American evangelicalism. Steve has himself been heavily influenced by Jack Miller in this regard (the founder of Sonship and the Philadelphia New Life churches, and the one from whom Jerry Bridges got his wonderful 'Preach the gospel to yourself every day' mantra).

Steve includes a wonderful little entre into biblical theology/redemptive history (without using those labels) on pp. 52-54 (with a nice chart on p. 53). And the appendices are helpful, especially the list of further resources.

Thanks for providing us with this great resource, brother!

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See Steve's website here.

Find a bit more on Steve from Chris Arnzen here.

Note Justin Buzzard's appreciative interview with Steve about the book here.

1 comment:

Gavin Ortlund said...

Great review and great book! Thank you.