Walking With Arthur
Finding God on my Way to New York
Publisher: Northfield Press
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
Walking With Arthur is a spiritual memoir. It is one man’s story of a friend God used to guide him to the Lord. As such it is a story not unlike many every Christian has heard. Yet I never grow tired of hearing how God brings His people to Himself, and the circumstances he saves them from.
1984 was a big year for James O’Donnell. It is the year his father died; the year his salary was cut despite great success in his field; the year he decided to divorce his wife; and the year he met Arthur. Arthur, who was older and had been a Christian for a long time, listened to, guided and helped his new friend. He showed him a glimpse of the power of God working in the heart of one of His people. 1984 went from a year of great darkness to a year of the brightest light.
Having told the story of his conversion, the author turns the book over to his friend. It concludes with an epilogue written by Arthur, humbled at having been used in such a way. "To me, the substance of what Jim recalls sounds more like the work of the Holy Spirit, introducing a prism into Jim’s perceptions of me and what I did. Jim saw and heard what he needed to in order to bring him closer to God" (page 148). And isn’t that just how the Holy Spirit works. Arthur concludes the book by writing, "I am astonished and fortunate to have been so used. But the truth is that if I had been given Jim’s teaching and writing skills, I would be writing a book called Walking With Jim" (page 150).
The book is well-written (despite the use of a few too many colloquialisms) and on the whole the theology is sound. While a valuable book, and one I can recommend (even if not too enthusiastically), I would not consider it a must-read. Still, it has a certain charm and I did enjoy it.