In 1937, on the threshold of Nazi Germany's war on the world, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote what turned out to be one of the most influential books of the century, The Cost of Discipleship. In it, he challenged the flabby faith and compromises of German Christians, famously writing, "When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die."
Now, seventy-three years after the book was first published, Jon Walker writes Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. Walker brings to a new generation the timeless message of Bonhoeffer against the background of today's political upheaval and societal change and what it means to those who claim to follow Christ's teachings.
Christianity Today named Bonhoeffer's book one of the ten most influential books of the twentieth century, but although the book still has a loyal readership, it has not been adequately viewed through the eyes of the twenty-first century, until now. In Costly Grace, Walker, who worked with Rick Warren for several years and recently authored Growing with Purpose (Zondervan, 2009), writes a book that will challenge contemporary teachings and lifestyles.
Grace is a foundational doctrine for Christians, yet it is one of the most misunderstood. Bonhoeffer watched as many used the doctrine of grace as an excuse to do whatever they wanted, and in response, he wrote his classic work on what it truly means to follow Jesus. We cheapen grace, he declared, when we use it to compromise our behavior or to lower the standards of God's Word. In a modern retelling of this Christian classic, Walker explains what Bonhoeffer meant when he taught that grace is free but will cost us everything.
- CLEAR CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP - This stirring book reminds us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
- GRACE UNDERSTANDABLE - This book makes the doctrine of grace understandable and practical.
- SMALL GROUP OR CONGREGATIONAL STUDY - Following Bonhoeffer's example, Walker has anchored this book around an expository study of Matthew 5–7, including the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. As such, Costly Grace is an excellent resource for small group curriculum or congregation-wide study.
- 90-DAY DEVOTIONAL - Leafwood Publishers will release a Costly Grace devotional as well, helping readers bring these important ideas even more deeply into their personal times of prayer and study.
About The Author:
Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor at Pastors.com, later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church. He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's HomeLife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox. His articles have appeared in publications and Web sites around the world. You can learn more about his ministry at www.gracecreates.com
If you want to be challenged to live a life that will cost you everything, then you must read Costly Grace by Jon Walker. When you read this book you will be reminded how to live a life of abandon for Christ, just as Bonhoeffer did so many years ago. It will change your life when you read this book. I have only read parts of Bonhoeffer's original work, but I will definitely be going back to read it in it's entirety.
Here is one point in the book that I loved!
Says Bonhoeffer, "The same Jesus who, speaking of himself, said, I am the light, says to his followers: You are the light in your whole existence, provided you remain faithful to your calling. And since you are that light, you can no longer remain hidden, even if you want to"....Walker goes on to say...."Disciples of Jesus cannot be anything but the light. Being a disciple means understanding who you are and whose you are. Discipleship is humility in its purest sense because you are not light because of your spiritual maturity or intellectual enlightenment. You are light only because you are in union with the Light. (p.92)
I challenge you to read this book and live a life for Christ, as you have never done before!
BUY IT: You can purchase Costly Grace by Jon Walker online through Leafwood Publishers - it is also available through your favorite local Christian bookseller.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of The B and B Media Group Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***