les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book review: Passing Through : Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness, by Jeremy Walker

Passing Through is a good book written by a serious pastor who is attempting to help Christians to know how to relate to the world in which we find ourselves. It aims to be pretty comprehensive, a real vade mecum for the Christian, with chapter titles :

A Way in the World
Strangers and Pilgrims
Understand the Environment
Know the Enemy
Fight the Battles
Pursue the Mission
Respect the Authorities
Relieve the Suffering
Appreciate the Beauty
Anticipate the Destiny
Cultivate the Identity
Serve the King

The chapter headings are splendid! Concise and clear with a straightforward call to action. Jolly good! You know straight away that the book will be practical and the ground it will cover. Each chapter begins with a "Scriptural Framework", "Summary Thoughts" and ends with "Specific Counsels" - so you can see that Jeremy wants to help his readers think issues through and put principles into practice. Jolly good!

Jeremy steers his way wisely between each current Scilla and Charybdis: evangelism and service, service to the believer and the unbeliever, hope for the world and suspicion of the world - the book is wisely written.

Do I have no quibbles? Well, yes, I do have two.

The first is this old question of style. It is not easy to distinguish Jeremy's written style from that of people he quotes, like Spurgeon or Ryle. I know I am picky about this, but I work almost exclusively with people who are second-language English speakers and they will not always understand. Also it makes the book heavy and hard work to read. It's a pity, because it's a book well worth reading.

My second quibble is that I'd like to have seen a section specifically talking about worldliness, giving a clear approach and advice.

However, despite these blemishes, this is a good and helpful book, and even if it imposes a slow pace of reading, perhaps that gives more time to reflect and to think matters through.


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