Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review of Partnering with the King by John Hiigel

Partnering with the King: Study the Gospel of Matthew and Become a Disciple of Jesus
by John Hiigel
ISBN 978-1-55725-997-4
Paraclete Press
Reviewed by Clint Walker

I received this book a little while back, and I have been working my way through it ever since. I made special use of it during the Advent season and now through Holy Week. This has been especially valuable since this is "Year A" in the liturgical year, and thus the Christian year features the gospel of Matthew.

The thesis of this Partnering with the King, and it is not an original one, is that the gospel of Matthew is a guide to helping followers of Jesus understand the journey of discipleship is a disciplined, organized, and somewhat systematic way. Hiigel makes his point by sharing Scripture, and then writing a kind of devotional commentary about the text. The entries are easy to understand, and yet at the same time insightful both in understanding the text and what it means for us today.

Partnering with the King has a dual use. It could be used as a personal devotional or a study aide in working through the gospel of Matthew. In this case, the study guide in the back could be used to guide journal work and personal reflections. Since it only has 31 days it could be used through one month on a daily basis.

The text could also be used as a guide for study for a group. With 31 entries, it would be perfect to guide a group's study through a school-year schedule. The study guide would then become a discussion guide and lead people on a discipleship journey through the gospel of Matthew as a community.

Either way, with endorsements from luminaries such as Richard Foster, as well as friends that are former students, I will be visiting and revisiting this book often.

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