Second Reformed Church

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: "Passing Through"

Jesus calls us to “be in the world, but not of it,” but what does that mean?  Jeremy Walker answers this question in his book, Passing Through:  Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness.

Walker begins by stating, “Being precedes and determines doing” (1).  That is, understanding who we are essentially comes before and causes coherent action in accord with itself.  In understanding the Christian’s relationship to the world and his interaction with it, the Christian must first understand who a Christian is – that is, a pilgrim – one who is travelling through, but not clinging to, the things of this fallen world.

Walker has written a very readable and very Bunyan-esque travel guide for the Christian who desires to live as a Christian in the world – not becoming one with the world, not ignoring the world, nor trying to be like the world (10-14).

Walker divides each chapter into three sections:  Scriptural framework – in which he culls and explains Scriptures related to the chapter’s theme, summary thoughts – in which he brings together the teaching of the Scriptures he has examined, and specific counsels – in which he elaborates practical action steps which come from the Scripture.

In the first chapter, Walker examines what the Scriptures teaches about the world and the various ways the word “world” is used in the Scripture.  

In the second chapter, Walker explains that we are and are to live as pilgrims with respect to the world.

In the third chapter, he explains the nature of the world we are passing through and have we may do so in a way that pleases God.

In the fourth, he looks at the reality of the devil and our need to know him and how to fight against him.

In the fifth, he looks at how we fight Scriptural battles.

In the sixth, he points us to the assurance of authority that we have in Jesus to fight these battles.

In the seventh, he engages us in how to rightfully respect and respond to any and all authorities over us.

In the eighth, he shows us how to biblically meet the needs of the needy with mercy – and to receive as we have need.

In the ninth, he turns us away from despising the world and calls us to glorify God for the beauty that God has put in the world.

In the tenth, he shows that our eyes should be set on the destiny towards which we are travelling.

In the eleventh, he calls us to cultivate our identity in Christ by the means He has given us.

Finally, he brings us to the glorious call of serving our King – it is here that he shows us that whatever we suffer as pilgrims in this world, as Paul said, is but “a light affliction” considering Him for Whom it is suffered.

Throughout the book, Walker aptly quotes from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress to lead us through this excellent tool on how to live as what we are – pilgrims on our way to the Kingdom of our Father.

I highly recommend this book for personal and group study and for repeated reading to be remembered and encouraged along the way.

[I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This review appears on and on my blog.] #PassingThrough

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