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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breakfast With Bonhoeffer

Jon Walker volunteers as the teaching pastor for “The Purpose Driven Life On-line Daily Devotionals".  He is a former pastor at Saddleback Church and is the author of Costly Grace:  A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship and  In Visible Fellowship:  A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together.  He is managing editor of the Daily Hope devotionals from Rick Warren with a readership of over 500,000.  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 websites around the world. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

You can read more from Walker at Power to Change  and Grace Creates. 

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:  How I Learned To Stop Being Religious So I Could Follow Jesus is Jon's latest book.  Here is the synopsis from his website Grace Creates:
While Jon Walker was encountering Bonhoeffer every day as he wrote the books Costly Grace and In Visible Fellowship, he found his world collapsing and his faith faltering. After almost twenty years in ministry, Walker was laid off twice, lost his home and savings, was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, and then his wife filed for divorce just a few days before their twenty-fourth anniversary. Reading like a non-fiction novel with a story both heart-breaking and heart-warming, Walker brings to a new generation the timeless teachings of Bonhoeffer, especially the teaching that calls Jesus’ followers to break free from the tyranny of popular culture and religious thinking. It also offers hope for those who face loss or have been hurt by the economic downturn.  

I'm not sure there are many people (if they are honest) who have not at one point or another felt abandoned by God or doubted His plans for their life.  In Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Jon offers his very moving story of loss and unexpected gain (in some very unlikely places).  He reminds his reader of the biblical promise that God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3) and that God never leaves us or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31). 

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer reads like a non-fiction novel.  In the pages of this very well written book, Jon offers the reader his very genuine self - warts and all.  He doesn't sanitize his struggles but offers them to the reader as a backdrop that allows the story of God's redemption and grace to shine forth.  READ THIS BOOK and be prepared to be humbled, blessed and released to evaluate your own story in the light of God's amazing grace.

Thank you Ryan Self (publicist for ACU Press & Leafwood Publishers) for sending me a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.