A review of Passing Through, Pilgrim life in the Wilderness by Jeremy Walker
As twenty-first-century Christians, we must relate to the world, but the question is, how do we relate to it? Some Christians are scared, others are simply bewildered, and still others capitulate to the spirit of the age. In Passing Through: Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness, Pastor Jeremy Walker presents the biblical perspective that Christians are pilgrims passing through this fallen world who must cultivate the spirit of holy separation alongside holy engagement as they serve Christ in all their interactions. Unless we embrace this identity, we will lose our way. Reminding us that we need “the Word of God as our map and the Spirit of Christ as our compass,” Pastor Walker clearly presents principles for holy engagement with the world and separation from it for pilgrims on their way home, seeking to glorify the God of their salvation every step of the way.
For Christians, Scripture tells us that we are pilgrims, aliens and strangers in this earth, and for anyone trying to live a godly life in this present wicked age it doesn't take long to figure out that this world is not our home. This book is for the struggling pilgrim.
Unfortunately in our age, it is very easy to grow comfortable in this world and forget that we are living not for this world but for the next. It's very easy to love this world, and forget that love for this world is enmity towards God. It's easy to let our love for Christ grow cold as our love for this world grows. This book is also for the Christian who is more like a worldly tourist.
At around 250 pages, this book is a thorough and helpful guide for the pilgrim. The book starts out explaining how we should relate to the world and what it means to be a stranger and a pilgrim in it. This lays the groundwork for the rest of the book.
From there Jeremy talks about the enemies and dangers we face on our journey, and I found those chapters (Know the enemy and Fight the Battles) particularly helpful. This was an encouraging and valuable part of the book for me.
From there Jeremy begins to explain how we should live as we travel on. We are not called to live our lives as hermits, withdrawing from the world, but we are called to shine our lights, loving God and neighbor. We are to serve God faithfully, wherever He places us.
As we near the end of the book, in chapter 11, Anticipate the destiny, Jeremy exhorts us to keep our eye on the prize. He encourages us to hold fast to the hope that one day our journey will be over, we will rest from our labours, and we will see with our eyes the author and finisher of our faith, our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This book comes to me at a good time, as I am helping teach a children's Sunday School class on John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress. This book is a helpful companion to that classic allegory and is a great resource for exploring the truths found there.
Lastly, let me say that Passing Through is a thorough theological study, but it is also very easy to read and very pastoral. No wonder, considering that Jeremy is a pastor. ;)
For the pilgrim on his way toward the city of God, I would recommend carrying a copy of this book with you, and recommend you refer back to it often.
To learn more about Jeremy Walker and this book, check out Shaun Tabatt's interview here.
To read my review of Jeremy's book New Calvinism considered go here.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.