The Calling

Collecting the Fading Embers of God's Kingdom

Christian - Biblical Counseling
236 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Frank Mutuma for Readers' Favorite

Creation is for the spiritually fallen. And those who have fallen need help from others. How does the Bible work? Is the interpretation of various institutions and people infallible? The Calling by Mark Walton explores not only various issues affecting the church today, such as same-sex marriage and the thorny issue of church unity but also thought-provoking ideas on scripture interpretation and the errors resulting from translations over the centuries. The disunity among conservatives and progressives on various issues can find common ground for improving Christian living. Only 31 percent of the world's population are Christians. Can God, being all-loving, condemn the other 69 percent of the people to the fires of hell? This book is an eye-opener!

Readers should approach this book with an open mind. One of the greatest strengths of The Calling by Mark Walton is that it's based on deep insights from the author's personal experiences and the unique perspective it presents on spiritual life. The humility and tolerance espoused by the book are of great importance, especially in today's world, where there is so much extremism. As Mark rightly notes, Christ was in the form of God, walked among us in humility, and always submitted to the will of God the Father. I also love the tone Mark uses to share his experiences. It instantly creates intimacy with the reader, setting a mood for reflection and a spiritual journey.

Jamie Michele

The Calling: Collecting the Fading Embers of God's Kingdom by Mark Walton is a theological study on the limitations of human knowledge that aims to break new ground in biblical interpretation. Walton in meticulous and exhaustive research makes the case for challenging traditional views by providing fresh perspectives on the deeper meaning of scripture. On a macro level, the study covers three primary topics: proving God in a new way, emphasizing inclusion and rejecting the rejection of people by the Church, and validating the Bible through scientific aspects. Walton emphasizes the complexity of biblical translation and the significance of considering the original context and sense of words; that Scripture is intentionally written in a way that requires systematic exploration to unlock its full meaning.

The importance of humility in understanding God's message that Mark Walton underlines in The Calling is, for me, the foundational requirement in reading any non-fiction study that calls for rethinking our beliefs. Whether it is science, mathematics, or history which, by the way, Walton connects to theology, humility is necessary to hear it. Walton's work is poignant and there were some standouts that applied to the struggles of my own heart, which I will not get into as they are deeply personal. In chapter ten, Walton plucks law from the book of Leviticus that states the measurement of judgment is based on the one who makes a vow. He connects this to Jesus' teaching in Matthew that we should not make vows or oaths but instead speak truthfully. It suggests that Jesus' measurement of judgment is the lowest because he does not judge anyone. With regard to this book, one must open themselves up, without judgment, to the possibility of different contexts and meanings, and I do believe that The Calling is the first step toward this acceptance.

Philip Van Heusen

Most Christians think the Scriptures are clear, but Mark Walton reminds us that they are difficult to understand. Reading The Calling requires you to wear your thinking cap and take your time. Many things he says will seem odd or foreign to the average conservative Christian. For instance, instead of referring to Jesus Christ as the Rock on which the Church is built, Mark says, “Peter is the rock upon which the Church is built.” This book, along with its two companion volumes, was written to help the reader see the deeper meaning of the Scriptures. According to Mark, the Christ-deniers, atheists, etc., will be saved. He gives an interesting interpretation of the meaning of 666. You may disagree with Mark’s conclusions, but he does an interesting job of explaining his understanding of the Bible.

The Calling by Mark Walton is written to challenge the normal interpretation of the Bible that most Christians take to be the truth. Mark went to seminary and learned a lot, but he felt that what he learned was incorrect. Mark believes God opened his eyes to veiled and hidden truth below the surface of a casual reading of the Scriptures. He does not think God rejects anyone and that all will eventually end up in heaven. His way of interpreting the Bible comes from understanding that words, actions, numbers, and locations have multiple meanings. Mark believes the most important development in being able to interpret the Scriptures correctly is the addition of adding chapter and verse markers. This book shows that Mark is well-educated and a deep thinker.