Imitation of Christ – Introduction, pt.1

We will be wrapping up our study of Looking Through the Cross next week. Beginning Tuesday, April 7 we will begin reading through Thomas á Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. (You can preview the book HERE.) After the Bible, the Imitation of Christ is commonly considered to be the most widely read book of all Christian literature. The book was first published in 1418, and consists of a series of one-page meditations that are intended to answer the practical question of what it truly means to “take up your cross and follow me.”  Its purpose is not to give us abstract knowledge about God but to guide us into a deep spiritual experiential personal knowledge of the Divine. 

If you know someone who is “spiritual but not religious,” this book is a perfect introduction to Christ.  In order to read the book, a person does not need a knowledge of the Scriptures or of the finer points of Christian doctrine, but only needs the openness to know and experience the love of God.  As á Kempis writes in his opening chapter, “What does it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without the grace and love of God?” 

There are numerous free online translations that you can find and use.  I will be leading the discussion using the Classics with Commentary because it provides a brief introduction and questions with each chapter. If you want me to order you a copy of this book, please let me know. The cost is $15.  If you don’t need the commentary, I can order the Dover edition which is only $3. 

I look forward to reading through this book with you all for a season.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:7-11

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *