Friday, July 17, 2015

Passing Through: Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness

Author Jeremy Walker’s recent book, Passing Through: Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness is indeed timely for the American church.   There was a time in America when Christianity heavily influenced the culture.  However, those days appear to be long over, especially with the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.   Unfortunately, this decision will soon lead to the erosion of religious liberty in America.  The church will eventually be persecuted and Christians marginalized.  Walker does not address this issue specifically in his book, but he writes “ The kind of honor that has been afforded to Christian truth in much of the Western world in recent centuries is not the norm, and we might have come to assume too much. We are probably returning to the real historical norm of persecution, and we should be the more thankful for our relative freedoms while we have them, remembering those who do not as if we suffered with them (Heb. 13:3).”

In sum, Passing Through is a biblical and practical theology for living a life that glorifies God in a hostile world.   Since many other reviewers have provided a summary of this excellent book, I want to focus on my personal experience with it.  I found this book to be one of the most convicting I have read in a long time.  The Lord used it to point out sinful attitudes and actions in my life.  For instance, my attitude towards rulers and authorities has been utterly sinful.  Passing Through’s chapter entitled Respect Authorties  opened my eyes and brought me to repentance.  Another chapter that convicted me was Relieve the Suffering.  It revealed that I have been lacking compassion and mercy.  I have not been acting like my Heavenly Father who is known for His lovingkindness.  Again, I repented.  It seems that every chapter confronted me with some sin of which I need to repent.   That’s not to say that Walker is condemning.  He is indeed gracious and true to the Scriptures.

Finally, I would like to give some friendly advice about how to read Passing Through. It’s not the kind of book one should read at one sitting.  Read it slowly and devotionally.  Take time to let the biblical truth it presents penetrate your heart.  Repent where needed.  Rejoice when blessed.   Ask God for grace to live the pilgrim life it presents.