Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Walk

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book to use with new disciples of Christ. Smallman’s approach is grounded in the belief that the gospel isn’t just for becoming a Christian, but for living as a Christian as well. He assumes no knowledge on the reader’s part, calling this book “Discipleship for Dummies!”

The book takes its flow from the nature of Christian discipleship as a walk (often called “the Way” in Acts). So Part 1 covers the basics (what a disciple is, the necessity of the church, how to read and pray), and Part 2 moves on to the gospel itself, pacing discipleship to four ‘steps’: (1) Know what the gospel is; (2) know how you came to believe it; (3) know the benefits of believing it; and (4) live a life that flows from the gospel. Finally, Part 3 focuses on following Jesus in his mission, which is to disciple disciples.

Several features combine to make this a suitable handbook for discipleship. Most importantly, it gets the new Christian reading his or her Bible. At key junctures Smallman has the reader put down the book and read a passage of Scripture that is central to the discussion. By the end of the book, the reader has gone through the Gospel of Mark (“the beginning of the gospel”) and Paul’s Letter to the Romans (which presents “the meaning of the gospel”), as well as many other important passages.

Interesting “Time Outs” are also interspersed throughout the book, and each chapter concludes with a tight summary and a list of assignments. A further reading and resource list, and a fifteen-week Scripture reading plan, are included as appendices. A third appendix provides guidance on how to use this book in making disciples.

The author writes from a Reformed perspective, which will limit the books usefulness for some.

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Stephen said...

Mike, Thank you very much about your good word about my book. I hope it encourages people to check it out as a resource for helping others as well as themselves in their "walk." Stephen Smallman

MJK said...

Thanks for your comment, Stephen, but thanks even more for your service to the Church in writing the book in the first place.