Book Ranking – 5 out of 10

Book Title: Five Traits of a Christ-follower, edited by Doug Nuenke (published by NavPress, 2015)

In this devotional edited by Doug Nuenke, the contributors group their brief devotionals into one of five categories. And each category, as the book title suggests, is an essential trait of a Christian. The five categories are: “walking with Jesus, knowing and living the Scriptures, participating in community, engaging with those who don’t know Christ, and reproducing spiritual generations.” You might re-state or summarize those five categories this way: sanctification, the Word of God, the church, preaching the gospel, and discipleship.”

I am not an avid fan of devotionals “by and large”, as I believe their brevity seems to counter-productive to their overall goal of bringing people close to Christ. I would prefer to see Christians get their daily consumption of the Word of God through a systematic reading of the Scriptures, since that is the way God recorded it for us. I believe the brevity of devotional books like this one don’t help Christians get closer and deeper at a healthy rate, but slows their spiritual progression down too much.

This book is such a devotional. While the content is fine, I found it biblically shallow. It includes meditations on well-known Scriptures but the thoughts or questions recorded on each verse are so brief, the reader barely has time to consider the profundity of God’s Word that is being referred to, before they are taken to a new subject on the next page. Thus, if a Christian is going to use this book for any reason, he needs to now read it as I did – in one sitting.

While I believe audiences like new or immature believers may benefit from such a short book (96 pages), I would not encourage most Christians to use this as a medium for their sanctification. Deeper is better than shallow.

I would like to thank NavPress for giving me a copy of this book to read, review and apply to my current ministry.

 

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