Risky Living


The title says it all. This is Jamie Buckingham’s testimony in which he begins with the premise that there is much more to our Christian experience than what first meets the eye. Our lives are like placid lakes which are, however, deeply polluted. We have customarily pushed the pain of unhappy experiences beneath the surface where it stays quite alive in the subconscious mind. Thus it is that, at conversion, the Holy Spirit may make some dramatic-looking changes in our lives, but the bulk of our sin remains, largely untouched, hidden beneath the surface. If, however, we continue to follow Jesus, choosing his way instead of our own, the Holy Spirit will lead us to people and circumstances that will bring our sin to the surface where it can be confessed and forgiven.And what, specifically, are some of the people and circumstances that God has employed in Jamie’s life. The answer to that question is what makes this book lively reading. To bring him to the baptism of the Spirit there were his wife, his publisher, and some harsh confrontations with his pride. He also tells how he learned to forgive old debts, how he, a Southern Baptist, was baptized in Cape Code Bay by an Episcopal priest, and what his son’s experience with music taught him about demons.He tells, too, how writing books and getting published helped him see another side of his voracious ego. And he broaches the sensitive subject of one’s relationship with one’s parents.When Christ calls a man to follow Him, Buckingham learned through hard experience, he must sever idolatrous and sentimental relationship — especially blood relationships — in order to make room for the genuine love of God. And what does all this tribulation and discomfort produce. Jamie Buckingham says that what he’s experienced so far had produced a solid contentment. He does not regret opening himself to the searching work of God. It is painful, no doubt, but the peace and freedom have been well worth it.