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Passing Through — pilgrim life in the wilderness

By Jeremy Walker
February 2016 | Review by David Baldwin
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-60178-387-5
  • Pages: 265
  • Price: 13.00
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Book Review

It’s interesting trying to deduce a book’s content from its title. Would this publication address going through testing times, initiation rites or the sentiments behind the famous song, ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through’?

It proved to be the latter, with the book’s title taken from a celebrated poem by Horatius Bonar, while the subtitle owes much to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

In 265 pages I found virtually nothing disagreeable. Walker writes on the strong foundation of his Reformed theology and his work is shot through with the warm concerns of a pastor’s heart. He makes a solid case for every Christian to feel absolutely sure of their identity in Christ in order to negotiate this present world with godliness.

Every aspect of the pilgrim life is explored and firmly based on biblical testimony. Walker clearly loves reading the Puritans and includes many citations and illustrations from saints of old. I dare say that this publication even reads like a Puritan book in terms of its style.

Herein, for me, lies its greatest weakness. I wondered what kind of audience would be drawn to the old-style language and frequent allusions to great Christian preachers, writers and thinkers from the past.

I’m over 50, and if the author intended to produce a book that encourages older Christians to live pure Christian lives, then he has probably succeeded. However, if he set out to engage younger Christians, tempted to flirt with the postmodern world, then I doubt that such readers would progress far with the book.

The solid, sound and sure content will be inaccessible to most young Christians, because the style is dated and the quotes and illustrations are usually from days of yore.

David Baldwin

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