Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom

White, James Emery. A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom: Journeying Through the Christian Life. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012.

Reading A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom felt like sitting down with a friend to look through travel photos and hear the adventures and experiences which accompany the pictures. The travelogue includes places ranging from North Carolina to abbeys, cathedrals, museums, and a pub in Europe, and finally a monastery and museum in Africa. Each stop on this tour is specially selected for its significance to the Christian life.

As is often true when hearing of someone’s travels, the reader’s first response is to want to pack their bags and visit these places in person. However, short of going on an extended leave of absence from work and inheriting a tidy sum of money, most readers will not be able to do so immediately. While saving money for future travels, readers would be encouraged to delve deeper into the concepts presented. Many chapters note spiritual disciplines to practice or other actions to take to help individuals further their journey on the Christian life. The astute reader will turn from this book to the many sources mentioned throughout the narrative or listed in the notes.

The most pleasurable aspect of reading A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom is White’s warm, friendly, pastoral tone. Reading felt like chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee. Throughout the book, White is very personable and transparent. In the course of relating several adventures, White openly shares his experiences as well as less than holy thoughts and actions. Doing so portrays him as a fellow traveler who has gone before rather than a tour guide.

A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom is recommended for book clubs, study groups, or individuals. With a brief nine chapters, a group or individual could choose to use each chapter as a spring board to further study and exploration into the person or ideas presented. Future editions could be enhanced by the addition of study or discussion questions and a recommended reading list for those interested in pursuing the ideas further.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Church & Culture. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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