In His Steps

Reviewed by: Alyssa Roat, a professional writing major at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana



Title: In His Steps

Author: Charles Sheldon, adapted and abridged by James Stuart Bell

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 294 pages


In this new edition of Charles Sheldon’s classic, life is forever changed for the parishioners of the First Church of Raymond when a homeless man confronts them with a question: “What would Jesus do?” Shaken to the core, the parishioners take a year-long pledge. The members of the congregation must not take any action without first asking that very question.

However, they find that this pledge is a harder, yet more life-changing, pledge than they would have thought. As lives are lost, friends are gained, and ripples spread across the country, will the members of the First Church of Raymond keep their pledge?

True to its genre as a nineteenth-century religious publication, the book is filled with quaint, earnest language, one-dimensional characters, and a solid dollop (or perhaps more accurately, repeated wallops over the head) of good Christian morals. Though the story itself may seem trite, the question that inspired the movement remains: What would Jesus do?

If for no other reason than to understand the book that would eventually spark one of the most common phrases in 90s Christianity, this book is worth reading. Behind the stock characters and lack of true plot lie probing questions that, if the reader will let them, might cause the reader to question his or her own complacency and ask, “Am I truly living my life as Jesus would live it?”


Rating (1 to 5)

4 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

This book will appeal to fans of the classics, readers of feel-good fiction, and those curious about the history of Christian pop culture.

Christian Impact

After reading this book, it is nearly impossible for a reader to step away without reevaluating his or her own complacency and whether he or she is truly living life in a way that glorifies God to the utmost potential.



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About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

One Response to “In His Steps”

  1. I read this awhile ago but felt if was trying to push us to 1st century ideals of “WWJD” in 21st century, as well as promoting unrealistic internal processes as well as outward actions.

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