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Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life Paperback – March 15, 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

JOHN D. WOODBRIDGE is research professor of churchhHistory and the history of christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is also a former senior editor of Christianity Today.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891076735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891076735
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Carson and Woodbridge have done an excellent job telling the story of a man's life from a conversion to Christianity in college until he is mature and serving as a Presbyterian minister later in life. The struggles he deals with, both spiritually and intellectually, become focal points for the authors to share their own insights as professors in one of the foremost evangelical seminaries of our time (and at least Carson was once a pastor also). The story is told in the form of letters from a seminary professor who had been a friend of the main character's father, and the relationship continues and deepens over the years. While the story itself is interesting, the bits of reflection "along with way" are the real gems. The main character and the professor reflect on many topics from relating to our culture, American or otherwise, recent trends in theology and biblical studies, signficant issues of practice in the church today, and just how best to serve God in different contexts. This book is well worth reading no matter your place "along the way".
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Format: Paperback
D.A. Carson and John Woodbridge have given to the young convert, minister, or seminarian a great gift indeed. It is a compiliation of fictitious letters between a professor and a young Christian who journeys from convert to pastor, and along the way there is distilled a great amount of helpful information about the Christian walk, seminary study, pastoring, evangelicalism, all done in bite sizes.
The metaphor of a journey as the Christian life is appropriate, and well chosen, though it is not, of course, original. The ideas within are not original, nor is the style, approach, or much of anything, but what makes this so valuable is the approachable manner in which introduces the subjects dealt with and who the authors are. The authors are respected, well-known contributors to their specific fields of academia, and they are well known outside of their fields as devout Christian scholars and speakers. One can be sure the advice given within is not the surmising of arm-chair theologians, but the tested wisdom of two men well-acquainted with the academic and practical sides of Christian ministry. Really well done are the chapters on choosing a seminary, and building a library. There is also a great discussion on the difference between academic responsibility and respectability. There is a vast difference between the two!
For the young Christian interested in the pastoral ministry and seminary I highly recommend this volume.
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Format: Paperback
Occasionally, I run across a book that stands apart from others in respect to its clever premise, its heartfelt and compelling storyline, and profoundly sound advice and theology. This book by D.A. Carson and John Woodbridge, titled "Letters Along the Way," is one of those books. It initially took me completely by surprise and turned out to be one of the most delightful books I read all of last year.

The book utilizes the literary device of the personal correspondence between Timothy Journeyman, a young student in his junior year at Princeton and a dear friend of his recently deceased father named Dr. Paul Woodson, a semi-retired professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, to pass along a remarkable treasury of wisdom. Tim, a new Christian, knew his father, who was not a Christian, still had a deep and abiding love and respect for Dr. Woodson. So he decides to write Dr. Woodson and let him know of the passing of his father and, at the same time, ask the professor for his advice concerning how to have a fruitful walk with Christ.

Little did Tim know that his initial letter in the spring of 1978 would be the first of many letters the two would exchange through the end of 1991. Their correspondence addresses a number of theological topics, personal Christian experiences and struggles, American and European cultural shifts, challenges facing the Church from the inside and outside, and eventually, when Tim enters the pastorate, personal advice to a young pastor.

After reading the book's Preface, and since I had never heard of this book, I will admit I initially thought the characters and letters were authentic!
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I would recommend this for any one thinking about the ministry or seminary. The letters are short but extremely well written. They cover such topics as assurance of salvation and the walk of a believer but also current doctrinal and political and philosophical ideas.
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