Thursday, January 30, 2014

A review of Stepping out in faith by Mark Gilbert

Stepping out in faith by Mark Gilbert

Publisher's description:

"A young boy in the confessional lies about his sin, knowing that he is choosing hell over shame and embarrassment. A young man in spiritual distress decides to become a priest so he can be sure he will go to heaven. A white leather Bible sits in a box on a shelf for years, off limits to the little girl who asks to see it, because it might get dirty. "Just do what I say," a priest tells another boy who is full of questions about God, "and everything will be okay".

In every one of these situations God transformed people by his word in the Bible, replaced lies with truth, and brought peace through the salvation that is only found in Jesus Christ. This is a book with not one but 11 happy endings.

The 11 individuals who share their stories of Stepping Out in Faith could not be more different. They are men and women from different generations and from around the world. But they have in common the peace they have found in God through the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Mark Gilbert has gathered eleven stories of former catholics, (himself included), and they share their stories in their own words.  Much of what I read here resonated with me not because it's my story, but I saw my wife's story parallel much of what I read here. She had a similar experience to the people in this book.  Just as God worked in her life over the years it was amazing to see Him working, sometimes for decades, to prepare these eleven people for faith in Christ, and to bring them from bondage into freedom.

Interestingly what you find as you read these stories is how God worked in their lives through ordinary means.  They heard the Word preached when they were invited to Church, heard it speak for the first time in a Bible study that they were invited to and their eyes opened and their hearts made alive to the truth of the Gospel. That's what makes this book so encouraging as we see the Holy Spirit call catholics to Himself through the work of ordinary faithful Christians.  This should encourage all of us to labor in faith, knowing we will reap if we faint not.  How encouraging to see God work through a simple invite to church!

This isn't an apologetic treatise on how to evangelize catholics, but if you have a burden for catholic friends, family members, and neighbors, I think this book will be helpful and encouraging.  A quick read but definitely worth reading, a great book!

You can hear Author Talks and Cross Focused Reviews Shaun Tabatt interview Mark Gilbert here:

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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