Book Review on Ben Patterson’s “Muscular Faith”

The premise of this book (written by an ex-pastor/college chaplain with a lot of life, and ministry experience – he is now in his sixties) is that the Christian life is NOT easy, is extremely difficult, and that the more you train and prepare for the inevitable hardships – the better.

The book is written in Four distinct sections: Part 1 makes a case for the call to be a Christian Warrior (using God as a model of this motif); Part 2 make a case for the vigorous requirements of the war that the Christian is continually engaged in; Part 3 explains three primary obstacles to our being effective in the battle; and Part 4 discusses 7 essential habits to develop to be successful in the Christian life and how to ultimately finish well and live a life pleasing to God.

I have read all of Patterson’s books and as a result I found that there was a lot of repetition from things he has said in previous books. As a matter of fact, if you read very much (especially C.S. Lewis) – there is precious little new information here. As a matter of fact – each principle, or illustration used with only a few exceptions I have heard or read elsewhere.

Therefore, I would not recommend this book to Christians who read a lot of Christian authors – simply because, you will feel like I did in reading this book – I kept reading things that I’ve read or heard before, so it actually got annoying. However, if you are new to Patterson, and have not read C.S. Lewis or very many Christian authors, then I would highly recommend this book.