Book Review of Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus

  • Paperback: 208 pagesFacebook-Cover-Photo-sm
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; Dgs edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434707318
  • Amazon.com

Many thanks to Steve Myer, a friend and colleague of mine, and father of Nicole Unice, who along with David Dwight coauthored Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus.

An Overview

Start Here is exactly what its subtitles says, “Beginning a Relationship with Jesus.”  The authors wrote the book primarily for new believers and for those who are seeking a relationship with Jesus.  It is written in a friendly and theologically non-threatening style; that is, the reader is not overwhelmed with a plethora of theological terms, and when they appear, the authors either explain them in the text or in a footnote.  The book is lively. It flows.

Start Here is comprised of seven chapters, with each chapter building on the other.  For example, after the introductory chapter “God Stirrings,” the first chapter is “It Starts with Jesus,” which is then followed by “Obstacles” and “Receiving Jesus,” respectively.   In addition, each chapter begins with real life story, something of a testimony, if you will, which serves as an introduction.  Throughout, the authors weave their own life stories, as well.  The book ends with a Further Reading section, which provides the reader with a brief list of annotated books, for taking those “next steps” in their relationship with Jesus.

A Critique

When I began to read Start Here for review, I quickly discovered that this was written for me as well.  I constantly need to be reminded that life with Jesus is about a relationship with Him and not a relationship with a list of rules.  He says, “Follow me,” not “follow this.”  David and Nicole do a great job to stress a relationship with Jesus throughout their book.  If I were to list a few strengths of the book, they would be: (1) Use of the Bible.  David and Nicole interaction with the Bible is to be commended.  (2)  Use of Stories.  As humans, we love a good story.  David and Nicole are not afraid to use stories from their own lives to enrich the text.  (3) And Use of Illustrations.  When they are not using personal stories, David and Nicole utilize a few choice illustrations throughout.  As a footnote, for someone who considers himself a sacramental Baptist, I like their section on the sacraments in chapter six, especially, let your spiritual life be natural, and let your natural life be spiritual.

Conclusion

For someone who reads his fair share of books (see here), I can actually count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that were written with new believers and seekers in mind–a few.  Now I can add Start Here to this short list, a book (though not written primarily for someone who has been a follower of Christ for over 20yrs) which has reminded me that “Christianity is not so much something you believe but a relationship you enter” (p. 172).

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