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Posted March 14, 2011
Shaun Alexander offers some helpful thoughts in his book simply titled "The Walk." The premise of the book is walking "with" God. Alexander states that the important part of that phrase "walking with God" is the preposition with. Then he walks through the stages of belief from the unbeliever to consistently and obediently walking with God. I highly recommend this book.
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Posted August 6, 2012
Since humankind has sought connection with God we have looked fo
Since humankind has sought connection with God we have looked for ways to describe the process of spiritual maturity. The Old Testament used wandering in the wilderness. Jesus talked about taking up one's cross. The apostle Paul often used the metaphor of athletes training for a race. In The Walk, former NFL running back Shaun Alexander (with help from Joe Hilley) uses the metaphor of walking with God as a framework for describing the process of spiritual growth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Alexander's book is definitely a pleasant read. As you might expect, he tells many stories from his life in football. They are well told, and always helpfully illustrate his points. Alexander also has a knack for defining theological terms in clear, simple language. I found him to display good insight into the human condition.
If there is a drawback to this book it is that Alexander seeks to make one's walk with God a simple and clear process. He describes a five stage process to the spiritual walk. He suggests that each stage must be experienced in order. According to Alexander, Christians further along in the walk are best suited to mentor those who are two stages behind them. Although there is much helpful insight given for each stage of the walk, the progress to spiritual maturity is rarely this linear. The stages themselves seem forced to me and I found it difficult to get past that as the book progressed.
I recommend The Walk with reservations. I think it could be a helpful group study book for a men's ministry and a good gift book for a Christian sports fan.
NOTE: I received a copy of the book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review through their Blogging for Books program.
Posted October 31, 2011
if you're going to talk the talk, then you'd better walk the walk
Reviewed by Lori M for ReadersFavoriteWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I chose to read this book because the subtitle of "The Walk" said "Clear Direction and Spiritual Power For our Life." Who wouldn't want that? I had no knowledge of the author and when the book arrived, it surprised me to see his photo on the front cover as that is very unusual. When I flipped to the back cover, I discovered that the author is a former NFL player, so I asked my football-obsessed husband, "Honey, have you ever heard of an NFL player named Shaun Alexander?" to which he replied, "Of course! He was great. He played for the Seattle Seahawks and left them to go into ministry."
It was so refreshing to read something by a professional athlete who was (1) articulate and intelligent, and (2) humble. Professional athletes aren't exactly known for their humility, right? Shaun Alexander is the exception as he clearly gives all credit for his abilities, talents, and skills to God.
Tears flowed when I read about the player hurt on the field and Shaun and his teammates standing over him in prayer as the trainer worked on him. It was just so moving. I think that this book clearly demonstrates that if you're going to talk the talk, then you'd better walk the walk and Shaun Alexander clearly does that and brings people to a relationship with Christ. Go, Shaun!
A bonus part of the book is an unexpected delight wherein the author answers frequently asked questions about religion, God, and the bible. Great stuff!
Posted August 20, 2011
More than an athlete
To be honest, Shaun Alexander was a guy that played football (and on my fantasy team) and happened to write some books. Reading "The Walk" I was able to see that he is more than just a jock. Alexander brings heartfelt passion to his walk as a believer in Christ.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Alexander is not just a gifted running back but a gifted human being. I was very impressed that he was willing to put his dreams, experiences and even doubts out there for everyone to read. Coming from a macho culture, he brings to the table what all that are successful in life must learn...there is more to life than just that success.
Shaun makes a compelling case for the basic action we take in this life. That action is walking. Better than a casual stroll, Alexander points to how our walk is one that only benefits from walking WITH God.
Using Peter as a guiding example, Alexander guides the reader through Peter's, his, and really our own. From unbeliever to believer, he shows that the journey doesn't end when we meet God, but it truly begins. He labels the next steps in the journey as Example, Teacher, and Imparter.
My only criticism stems from what I feel can possibly become formulaic Christianity. While these are great categories, and certainly affords ease in teaching others to walk better, I think some could really use these as an excuse for failure rather than a reason to rise above. That of course is my fear, not one that the author advocates in anyway.
In a world where "talking the talk" runs rampant, Alexander does a great service in showing us the importance of "walking the walk." I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted January 4, 2011
Good football player, but ok theology...
I wasn't much of a football fan really until my Dad needed my help with his Fantasy Football team almost 5 years ago; ever since I watch the game occasionally. I decided to read The Walk, because of my curiosity with Shaun Alexander's former NFL career as a running back for the Seattle Seahawks and I was also curious about his Christian views. Although Shaun does talk about his football career and his childhood, The Walk is neither a football epic nor is it solely an autobiography. I would argue this is a spiritual book meant for those who are either 'baby' Christians or those who are a bit more experienced in the faith.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Shaun Alexander talks about what he feels are the spiritual stages Christians go through, he also speaks of the many traps and trials within those stages, he educates readers away from trying to be perfect and simply to be obedient to God's word whenever possible, he warns of Satan's many deceptions, several times he refers to scriptural passages for reference, he also refers to the experiences of different men of the Bible like Elijah and Peter, and as I mentioned earlier he also speaks about his early experiences and his football career. My favorite section was what he called 'the example' stage, because it was very inspiring and caused me to become aware of something I've been neglecting.
And yet I felt the beginning of this book had a bit of a slow start. I also question the validity of an experience Mr Alexander referred to in which Heidi Baker from Iris Ministries influenced another woman to lay hands on her dead husband and 'caused' him to be raised from the dead; see from the bottom of page 158 through to page 160 in the Imparter stage section. Though it is possible for people to rise from the dead, for God allowed Elisha and Peter to raise people from the dead in 2 Kings 4:8-37 and Acts 9:36-43, I question certain experiences such as these partially because when I hear of them I often think of frauds like Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff; though I hope this instance was not fraudulent. My final concern is that even though I do agree each believer in Christ has their own struggles and have different stages in their lives, I fear some who read this will develop the Pharisaic thought "I'm better than this person, because I'm at a higher stage." Other than those concerns it was a decent book to read and I did enjoy reading of his football anecdotes especially.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Water Brook Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Water Brook Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.
Posted December 27, 2010
Underwhelmed by a Disjointed Written Attempt
Ex-NFL Great Shaun Alexander gives his personal theological stance in his book The Walk. He uses the extended metaphor that life as a Christian is... well... a walk alongside God. He describes the spiritual life of the Christian in five phases, before closing with the importance of not just talking the talk but... well... walking the walk.
While I admire Shaun Alexander's efforts on the field, in the pew, and in putting his thoughts on paper, I have no admiration for this book. This book suffers from many issues. The first issue is basic paragraph and topic structure. It is difficult to physically read as it comes across as an incomplete series of thoughts. A paragraph will start with "Topic A." In three sentences there is a switch to "Topic T," with "Topic G" making its grand appearance at the start of the next paragraph. Alexander does not take the time to flesh out his ideas in a logical pattern, which makes the book difficult to digest.
The second issue is that it tries to say everything about Christianity. Everything. In 229 pages. Alexander's discussion of the Christian walk addresses in a way everything a Christian faces in their walk, thus creating, in effect, a miniature systematic theology. It is full of fragmented advice for everyone from non-believers to the ardent, experienced Christian on just about any issues that can be named. While this was not Alexander's intent, it was the unfortunate result. When you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing.
The third issue: beginning of chapter quotes. It is great to have quotes under a chapter/section title. Really, it is. However, I find this personally distasteful to quote yourself. Alexander manages this feat three times. With almost 2000 years of Christian literature, with another 1500 years of Jewish liturgy, I find it hard to believe that there were no spiritual giants for Alexander to use in place of his own .
In closing, I found The Walk to be a disappointment. It read like it was a collection of "all the cool things I ever wished to tell people about Christianity," and was about as coherent as a babbling stream of thought. While not addressed in this review, this book takes strong stances on issues that align with certain denominations, but may not be accepted by the general Christian population.
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Posted December 14, 2010
Very good book
Shaun Alexander teaches you the five stages of spiritual maturity, how to recognize each stage, and how to live each stage. He individually breaks down what each stage is, trials traps and victories of each, and how Peter walked in each stage.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Unbeliever, the first stage, where we all begin. The Believer, the point where the angels rejoice because another soul is saved. The Example, the believer living for God and showing the unbelievers, by example, how to live full lives. The Teacher, the believer who has gone the next step, and is now teaching others. And the Imparter, the believers who do the miraculous works of Christ.
Since he is a former NFL player, he uses football in a lot of his examples. And since I am not a football fan, many of the analogies are lost to me. But, the gist of his message comes across very well.
I enjoyed reading this book; and I learned a lot from it. It is definitely a book I will read again.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Posted November 19, 2010
Highly recommended - a must read!!
Shaun Alexander is once again scoring, this time with his writing ability. In his book, The Walk, Shaun shares with us the learnings of his life concerning relationship with the Father. "I heard the Holy Spirit say, 'This is what happens when you walk the Walk. Not perfection. I'm not looking for perfection. I'm looking for order.'"Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
God invites you to grow through five stages of spiritual maturity
Walking with God is not a contest or a competition, and it has nothing to do with how you look in front of others. Your walk with Christ is the most extreme, dangerous, and intimate adventure you will ever be part of. But all you have to do is walk, which takes you to a place where it's not about you-instead; you will become part of something that is much bigger than anything you can imagine.
God leads his followers through five stages of spiritual maturity. He begins by working in us even before we trust him, drawing us while we are still Unbelievers. He walks with us when we become Believers, training us so that we can grow to live as Examples of Christ. He works with Examples, showing them how to explain what they believe and making them Teachers. And God calls some Teachers to serve as Imparters, those who do the miraculous work of Jesus on earth.
While our tendency is to run ahead of God or lag behind, just walking with God through the stages of spiritual maturity will transform your life with biblical wisdom, God's direction, and the power of the Holy Spirit. With God at your side, your life will have an unprecedented impact on others. If you are looking for help to direct your walk, I highly recommend this book!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.