Monday, January 11, 2016

The Imitation of Christ, Classic Devotions in Torday's Language, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins

When does a classic become new, fresh and extremely relevant? When someone takes it out of an outdated format and makes it readable, searchable and understandable. The Imitation of Christ has been in print for over 500 years for a good reason. It is powerful, beautiful and heart piercing. James Watkins has taken those words and reworked them into ninety daily readings, arranged by topic. Whether for daily devotions or for sound insight into a particular issue, Watkins paraphrase blends the ancient with the modern to introduce this classic to a new audience, speaking to all Christians with credibility and authority and using inclusive language not found in the original.

My review:
  I have never read the original Imitation of Christ. I may have read excerpts at some point, but I am not even sure I did that. A book that old just scared me away. But now we have this updated version in today's language.

  I have no idea how the original book was set up, but this is separated into two sections:
1) Imitating Christ
2) Imitating Christ's character

   The first section is rather short, only having five parts and taking up just nineteen pages. The second section is split up into fifteen different character traits of Christ, with a varying amount of daily readings under each trait.

  I found the readings very easy to read and very relevant to my life. Several different topics are addressed throughout the book, and I can relate to most or all of them. Since I never read the original, I cannot attest to how closely the editor stayed to the original, but I can attest that the end result is worth reading. It is split up into 90 daily readings, and would make a great devotional for a three month period or more.

About the editor/compiler (from his website)

Jim has also served as an editor/writer for the American Bible Society, adjunct professor at Taylor University teaching writing for fifteen years, a “visiting author” at Indiana Wesleyan University, guest lecturer at Liberty, Regent and other colleges and universities, full-time editorial director at Wesleyan Publishing House, and weekly columnist for three secular newspapers for fifteen years—but not all at the same time.

His speaking travels have taken him to Australia, and countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Jim has won awards for his books (Campus Life “Book of the Year” and “Retailers Choice Award”) and writing and editing (four Evangelical Press Association awards) as well as an “Amy” award for writing in the general market. (Click here for a complete list of his published books.)

His 2,000-plus articles have been published by Christianity Today, Decision, Focus on the Family, Guideposts, Leadership, Ministry Today, Today’s Christian Woman, The Upper Room, The Whittenberg Door, War Cry and many more.

He’s a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University (1974) and took post graduate work at Ball State University’s School of Journalism and Purdue University’s School of Communications, and an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church. Jim has a PhD in para-linguistics—but only because a friend bought it as a Christmas gag gift from a diploma mill.

Most important, he’s married to the Rev. Lois, has two gainfully-employed children and five adorable grandchildren.

Check out his website..... it is rather entertaining :)

The Imitation of Christ, Classic Devotions In Today's Language is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy Publishing for the review copy.


James Watkins said...

Thanks so such, Mark, for your review. I appreciate it so much.