Book Reviews, Spiritual Formation

Book Review: Christlike by Bill Hull

June 25, 2013


Bill Hull is one of today’s leading aficionados when it comes to discipleship.  His literary contributions to the subject has awakened and reignited a passion among many believers in this generation.  Some of his other works include The Disciple-Making Pastor, The Disciple-Making Church, The Complete Book of Discipleship, Choosing the Life: Exploring a Faith That Embraces Discipleship, and Jesus Christ Disciplemaker.  He has given much of his life to the development and training of authentic followers of Jesus Christ.

In his most recent book, Christlike: The Pursuit of Uncomplicated Obedience, Hull challenges the church to lay aside cultural preferences and religious traditions and return to the basic tenet of Christianity, which is simply being like Christ.  Hull warns, “Let’s make sure our conformity is to Christ, not to cultural Christianity.  We are to be conformed to Christ, not some aberrant form of a religious subculture.”

I personally could not agree more.  Most of the issues that exist in the body of Christ in these last days are due to the absence of Christ-like attributes among the followers of Jesus.  Fellowship with others is a byproduct of fellowship with Christ.  Certainly not all of the division is a result of egos and pride, but a large percentage of our problems could be resolved if we embraced the qualities and attributes of the One we are supposed to be following.

Hull calls the reader back to 1st century Christianity and discipleship.  He hits on the fundamental truths of hearing the voice of God, obeying His Word, and developing a heart that is sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.  It is this simplistic approach that can once again “turn the world upside down” for Jesus.


Favorite quotes include:


“The crux of spiritual formation is that it is not primarily about becoming a better person but actually a different person.”


“The reason Christians have trouble igniting passion in others is that we function as unlit matches, lying there with the potential for fire, but unstruck.”


“Transformation isn’t a short-term experience; it lasts all of our lives.  Its basis is the development of a spiritual heart that fosters a life of uncomplicated obedience.  It is not a passive life but one of sustained effort.”


“The real power to affect others is found in the transformation of our inner life and in how it affects the common parts of our experience.”


“Today I am living a relationship with God that feels very personal; I am not just claiming to have one by faith.”


“Don’t sell short the power of doing the right thing, even when our heart is not quite in it.  For it is especially in those moments that we make some of our greatest strides toward Christlikeness.”


“Transformation is the vehicle through which we need to deliver the gospel.  If the message is fresh and current, then it will punch through the wall between people and knock down the barriers and defenses that the Enemy constructs to keep if from those who need it.”


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