The Imitation Of Christ: A Review

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I usually read books as fast as I can. After all, why not? There are so excellent books out there, and I want to get to them all as soon as I can. So that means reading quickly.

But when I started perusing The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis, I could see my read-like-there's-no-tomorrow method wasn't going to work well. This is a book that wants savoring, pondering, slow thoughtful reading.

So I took my time. Reading a page or two a day meant that it took me the better part of the summer to finish this book, but that is truly alright. Sometimes slow reading is the only way to get the most out of a book.

The Imitation of Christ has been around for more five hundred years, and it's read to this very day. I can see why; it has a lot of good things to say. It challenges the reader to cultivate Christian virtues, to value the things of God over the things of the world, reminds the reader of the grace and protection God gives us. Simply put, it admonishes the reader to desire to know more of the ways of God, it has something in it for every Christian, no matter the maturity of their faith.

It's a great book, but – there is always a but, isn't there? – I have a couple of reservations about it. I didn't always agree with Thomas a Kempis' Catholic theology, but that's to be expected because I'm a Protestant. And some of the book is written in the voice God, as if God had penned some of the passages in the book Himself. Now these part of the book had good things to say, but writing it as if God were saying these things seemed presumptuous.

But, I did get a lot of good out of this book. And I'm sure others readers would as well!


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