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A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom: Journeying Through the Christian Life Paperback – April 22, 2012
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"A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom is a fascinating book in which James Emery White offers reflections on key locations around the world that have significance for the church." (Michael Duduit, Preaching, May/June 2013)
"I want to strongly recommend A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom for every reader of The Denver Journal. By aligning the theme of spiritual formation with both specific places and various people, Dr. White has done us all a great service. . . . If only all manuals, books and tracts on spiritual growth were as useful as this one! My hope is that you will read it and profit from it as much as I have." (Prof. Scott Wenig, Denver Journal, 2012)
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he previously served as the school's fourth president. Dr. White holds MDiv and PhD degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. He currently serves on the Board of Reference at Union University, and as the adjunct professor of Christian Theology and Culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary/Charlotte. An international speaker and consultant, White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual,Christianity Today Book of the Year award-winner Wrestling with God, as well as The Prayer God Longs For and A Mind for God. White also served as the consulting editor as well as contributing author to The Holman Bible Handbook and The Holman Concise Bible Commentary.
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James Emery White helps the reader visit nine locations on our globe. Each historical location is unique. White's commentary is unique too. Personally I have visited about half of the sites reviewed in his book. For those visited places I only wish I had this book beforehand. Not only do we travel to the site but we travel with the author's creative mind to unexplored territory of the soul.
Not only did I like this book, but I have already ordered more for special friends who like to travel.
In short, the book earns a five star rating with this reviewer because of its mind stretching insights that go far and beyond the physical world.
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."
White does a great job in this book combining three very unique concepts - history, biography and geography - meaning that he takes us to a particular period of time at a particular location and introduces us to one of the great saints of the faith. At the same time that I am learning something interesting about C.S. Lewis or Billy Graham or Corrie tem Boom, I'm also presented with a life application that hits me squarely between the eyes as well. While every chapter was interesting and informative, Chapter 5 on the sexuality of man introducing me to the Chartres Cathedral in France was the most outstanding apologetic I've read about the importance of a biblical worldview on marriage and sex - that chapter alone is worth getting and read the book!
Just shy of 200 pages, my initial impression was there is something in this book that will appeal to everyone - but as I've thought about it more, that's not what I want to say. The truth is that every chapter in this book is important for every believer - not just the one or two chapters that you enjoy or are more familiar with - every chapter challenges the believer to a greater depth of understanding who God is and a more meaningful walk with the Lord. White concludes the book with the thought that there are many more places and people that he'd love to introduce us to - and I'll be ready and waiting for the second installment of this outstanding book if he ever finds the time and energy to write it.