Book Notices -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 10:1 (Winter 2001)
Article: Book Notices
Author: Anonymous

Book Notices

In His Image: Reflecting Christ In Everyday Life, Michael J. Wilkins. Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress (1997). 223 pages, paper, $14.00

What does it really mean to follow Jesus as a faithful disciple? Is discipleship only for “the few” or is it for every true Christian? The book is divided into three parts: (1) Is It Really Possible to Become Like Jesus? (2) What Does it Take to Become Like Jesus? (3) Toward a New Vision of Discipleship and Spirituality. People who have followed Christ down through the ages have never consistently appealed to the divine nature of Jesus as “God-in-the-flesh” as an excuse from active obedience to Jesus’ commands. Wilkins agrees with the historic church and believes that spiritual transformation into the likeness of Jesus is not only possible but necessary.

Wilkins, dean of faculty and professor of New Testament literature at Talbot Theological Seminary, did his doctoral work on the meaning of the term “disciple” (matheteis) in the Gospel of Mathew. He later wrote a work for pastors and students titled: Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship (Zondervan, 1992). This new work is built upon this earlier research and is aimed more intentionally at the average Christian reader. It is clear, well

argued, and extremely helpful. This work is included in a series of titles by NavPress called “The Spiritual Formation Line.” The company is to be commended for establishing this line and for publishing this particular work.

Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas. Grand Rapids: Zondervan (2000). 232 pages, cloth, $16.99

Gary Thomas, the founder and director of the Center for Evangelical Spirituality in Bellingham, Washington, seeks to integrate Scripture, church history and the Christian classics to foster spiritual formation and holy living. In this new book he engagingly attempts to strip away the idea that “one-size-fits-all spirituality” is for every Christian. The author develops nine distinct spiritual temperaments, looking at their traits, strengths, and pitfalls. Though there is enough here for everyone to find something to disagree with, I believe this is a remarkably useful book for a time when the Christian marketplace is flooded with books on spirituality, many of which are not distinctly Christian. Thomas is a good and thoughtful guide.

Here is one example of the kind of thought the reader encounters:

Instead of learning from others, Christians have often chosen to segregate themselves by starting a new church whenever the worship preferences diverge. This segregation has erect...

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