“The Journey” by David A. Fiensy

The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians

David A. Fiensy
Crosslink Publishing (2021)
ISBN: 9781633573772
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (9/2021)

“The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians” by David Fiensy is a devotional-style book meant to inform the reader as well as make them think about things on a deeper level. Fiensy is an author, speaker, and consultant on things Biblical with a long resume to back it up. In his latest book, he delves into the author of many books in the New Testament – the apostle Paul.

From the get-go, Fiensy provides for his audience a biography of Paul with commentary provided by himself and other sources. The introduction includes information not only about Paul but also about his family and upbringing. The primary focus of the book isn’t on Paul’s theology, but rather his spirituality. In keeping this our focus, we might soak it in and learn to become like Paul ourselves. Each chapter in the book pertains to an attribute of Paul that leads the reader back to Jesus. Real-life examples from people recent and historical are found throughout to make each chapter more powerful. Each chapter can be viewed as either a devotional or a mini-sermon; the real-life application is present, as well as the law and gospel. Topics discussed include conversion, crucifixion, discipline vs. suffering, redemption, and our unrealistic views of God.

Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion, most likely in a group setting, and further information that includes some facts about the culture, additional scripture passages, or further clarification.

I love that Old and New Testament passages back up each other to provide understanding. The Bible is a cohesive book with all parts working together to point to the same thing: Jesus. I have been studying the books of Acts recently, so I found it interesting to learn more about its author and other books he penned, such as Galatians and Philippians. I love that scripture passages are the sole means (other than the occasional commentary) that support a questionable piece of scripture. Seeing an Old Testament verse coming to the aid of one from the New Testament in question is validating and expected from the Bible. The format is done well, with the main idea for the chapter first, followed by questions and additional information taken or left, but best when taken. I can see this book successful in Bible studies worldwide; Paul’s work and letters are some of the best things to read and reflect on. The way that Fiensy writes is understandable to any audience. The reader does not have to be well versed in scripture or theology to understand what he is saying or figure out how he fits everything together. “The Journey” is an informative read about the culture and lifestyle of the time of Jesus and Paul and includes questions and material that universally applies to any reader.

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