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In His Steps

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  17,988 Ratings  ·  455 Reviews
A classic short Christian novel about the events that ensue when a preacher challenges his congregation to ask themselves, in their decisions about daily life, the simple question, "What would Jesus do?"
Mass Market Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Barbour Publishing (first published 1896)
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Bianca In His Steps is a reality fiction book centered around the popular phrase of of "What Would Jesus Do?" and the effects/consequences it has on people.…moreIn His Steps is a reality fiction book centered around the popular phrase of of "What Would Jesus Do?" and the effects/consequences it has on people. This book has timeless lessons for those interested in Christianity and those who have been Christians for a long time. Definitely give it a read! (less)

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Stephen Escalera
Dec 21, 2010 Stephen Escalera rated it liked it
Rarely have I come across a book that I am so torn over as to how to rate it. Usually a book will be obviously good or bad, making the ultimate conclusion in rating it a fairly easy process. While a good book may have some detractors, overall the good outweighs the bad, with the reverse also being true of bad books. However, I'm having a hard time making such a distinction in reviewing Charles Sheldon's classic, In His Steps. There are many good things about the book, but there are also many not ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Werner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Christian fiction readers
Shelves: classics, books-i-own
If you've ever seen anyone wearing a WWJD? (standing for "What would Jesus do?") bracelet, this is the novella that first popularized that question in some Christian circles. First published in 1896, it still challenges readers to a more serious application of Jesus' principles in their daily lives. The idea of asking ourselves that question, when we make decisions about behavior, continues to strike even professed Christian readers as novel and revolutionary. (That this should be the case, of c ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Princesskelly rated it liked it
Recommended to Princesskelly by: Julie
I must confess that all of my life I have heard the phrase “What Would Jesus Do,” but was rather clueless about where it came from or what it meant. I’ve seen those words while stuck in traffic on quite possibly thousands of bumper stickers over my lifetime, but honestly never understood what the heck “WWJD?” actually meant. It never occurred to me that it stemmed from an amazingly popular book written in the 1800’s, or that it ignited a revolution in the way that people viewed Christianity and ...more
Dec 28, 2007 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite verse for several months now has been 1 John 2:6: "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." Charles Sheldon shows in In His Steps what serious attempts to constantly "walk as Jesus did" might look like in real life. It was inspiring to read about what happened in the lives of the characters who agreed to do nothing for a whole year without first asking what Jesus would do in their situation, or how he would do it. I think it would be neat to write a book modeled after I ...more
Mar 24, 2012 NebraskaIcebergs rated it it was amazing
In His Steps has long been one of my favorite Christian novels. Upon reading it for the first time in my teens, I tried for a long time to live by the question asked of its characters: “What would Jesus do?” While I don’t remember the results of my attempts, I do recall having long conversations with my dad about how as a Christian I should approach writing fiction. Thus, I felt both apprehensive and excited at the chance to read In His Steps again for our family book discussion. Anytime I rerea ...more
Jun 10, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity, fiction
This book was given to me by a friend, and I think I told her I would read it. Otherwise, it probably would not have taken long for me to put it down. I found it badly written, and I disagree with its central message, namely that the Christian church would be revolutionized if it's members each made an honest pledge to do as Jesus would do. (I may be way off here, but I bet the WWJD movement started with this book.) The problem with this idea is that there is a real danger of subjectivism in doi ...more
Joshua M
Feb 01, 2008 Joshua M rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any serious christian
I just reread this classic for the third time, and just as always it shook up my view of christianity. It is a novel about a pastor that challenges his church not to do anything without first asking "What would Jesus do?" As each of the doctors, buisnessman, authors, newspapaer editors, etc... do this very thing, it begins to shake up not only their lives but the enviroment of the town in which they live. Ultimately, the movement begins to spread to other cities and states. I wonder what would ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Madelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotions
Wonderfully well written book. It changed my walk with the Lord, it made me question if I was doing enough, if I was actually walking in His steps like He would want me to. I also love the fact that it is partially a true story. The characters are also very well developed. Overall, it was an excellent book.
Aug 15, 2016 Felicity rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All the christians out there
Recommended to Felicity by: My mom
I think this book is quite controversial, in the sense that we ought to ask 'What would Jesus do'. Many have (as I read the reviews) written that they didn't like it at all. And I've heard many people say that you couldn't possibly know what Jesus would do, so it always ends up with what we think He would do. And that is - in their opinion - wrong. Well, Jesus is our role model and we ought to walk in His steps so I can't think there's any harm with asking WWJD. In fact, it might improve our liv ...more
May 13, 2013 Elliott rated it did not like it
This book's message is far more important than the work itself. It is the latter then that I am critiquing, not the former. As a piece of fiction, it is disillusioning to read. 'What Would Jesus do?" is the central question that all the characters have tasked themselves to asking and to make a comparison to their own actions-inspired by their pastor's words, and the words of a wandering tramp. Why this is disillusioning is that none of the characters really ever act as Jesus would act. Obviously ...more
Apr 19, 2008 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
it's about a pastor who challenges his congregation to take a pledge to ask "what would Jesus do?" before every decision they make, then follow through regardless of the consequences.

to me, the book was a little too preachy and unrealistic. i felt the choices the characters were making, for the most part, were extreme. there was also a lot of talk amongst the characters about suffering, and bearing the burden of the cross. almost like the author was telling us that unless we are suffering we are
Dan Glover
Apr 14, 2012 Dan Glover rated it did not like it
This is a "classic" of Christian social gospel, Finneyesque, religion. From the pretty young woman in the dimly lit tent meetings whose beautiful haunting singing makes hardened alcoholics break down weeping and come forward for an altar call to the crusading church folk whose efforts get local saloons shut down, this is the original WWJD - What Would Jesus Do? But that is the wrong question to ask. The questions disciples of Christ ought to ask are What Did Jesus Do? (in his life, death, resurr ...more
Mar 12, 2008 Aubrey rated it liked it
An interesting and thought provoking read, though I'm not sure I agree with its definition of Christian discipleship.

As a Latter-day Saint, I believe the family is central to the plan God has for us on earth. I believe we are expected to follow Christ, while raising our families as best we can. This means our day-to-day lives are filled with nurturing our children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs, rather than devoted to humanitarian aid. (Though, I'd argue that caring for ch
Tessa 『弓子』
May 01, 2013 Tessa 『弓子』 rated it did not like it
I read this book for my English course, and really I have nothing I like about it. The whole time Maxwell and the people who have taken the WWJD challenge with him are nothing like I believe Jesus was like. They go into the slums, but never really level with the people there, it's like they still believe they are above them in some holy way. Instead of going in and hanging out with the people there, they go and preach at them, but never really listen to themselves. I believe that Jesus was what ...more
May 19, 2014 Kristel rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This book is written in the late 19th century and is set in the US probably a town close to Chicago and involves a church community. A beggar comes into their midst and the pastor comes under conviction as to his conduct towards this beggar. He asks himself, “What would Jesus do? and he asks his congregation to take a year long pledge to live their lives by this question.

The story was entertaining, well read by the narrator but a better word would be inspirational. I was really shocked to reali
Jesseca Wheaton
Oct 21, 2015 Jesseca Wheaton rated it really liked it
I had read the younger version of "In His Steps" when I was younger, but I had never read the adult version. Well, this year it was required for my English literature course, so of course I read it.
I was not expecting to enjoy it half as much as I did. The story really brought the question "what would Jesus do" to life. It made me stop and think. What would I do differently, if, before I did anything, I asked "What would Jesus do?".
It was kinda hard to connect with the characters, primari
Classic tale of Christians actually trying to follow Christ. What a concept.
Mar 23, 2016 Honor rated it it was ok
Another classic on the list for my literature students. Poor writing style and a decidedly idealistic plot in many ways. While every believer is called to good works as fruit of their faith, I felt this book placed too much emphasis on meeting external needs of the underprivileged in society. "Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words" is a mantra of social gospel activists, and yet the Bible clearly teaches that good works or actions are meaningless apart from the verbal proclamation of the go ...more
Matt Morgan
Apr 05, 2016 Matt Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very thought provoking book. Based in the early 1900's, a church congregation is challenged to ask 'What would Jesus Do?' before each decision they make for an entire year. You get to know specific members who give up large amounts of money, comforts, and temporal luxuries in order to walk in His steps.

Reading this book, you can't help but analyze your own life. You start to understand that you cannot judge others (as much as you want to). Because, 'what would Jesus do?' is a very personal qu
Warning: This review contains information that some people may consider to be spoilers.

I listened to an eaudio of this. There are some good things about it. As the book says, Christians should be doing more to lessen suffering in this world. However, it’s not so that we can usher in heaven on earth, which is what the author seems to have believed. The most important role of the church is to share the gospel with others. Ministering to others in Christ’s name can give us the opportunity to share
Alex Stroshine
Feb 21, 2015 Alex Stroshine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"In His Steps" is an immensely important book in terms of Christian literature in North America. The novel, published in 1896, has sold 30 million copies and its repetitive exhortation, "What would Jesus do?" continues to be a popular phrase today.

The novel concerns Henry Maxwell, a small town pastor who, affected by a vagabond's death, challenges his church to commit before every action to think "What would Jesus do?" as a way to further their own discipleship. Charles Sheldon spends the first
Mar 19, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Charles Sheldon wrote In His Steps in 1897 during the Social Gospel movement. He began writing stories as sermons for his church, which led to a published book and widespread success. His book begins in an upscale church when a homeless man walks in during a service and confronts the church’s hypocrisy. He dies later that week in the pastor’s house, and the pastor vows for change. The pastor then asks any members of his church who would be willing to pledge to change their life and live as Jesu ...more
Adam K.
Sep 04, 2010 Adam K. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hated giving this one a low review, but I had to. First of all, my copy appears to be a first edition. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine an older edition of it still in existence. It's a little pocket-sized thing with a cameo on the cover (which has nothing to do with the contents of the book--I think it was purely an aesthetic nuance). I was surprised by how easily it read. The book was old enough to be late-Victorian era, when prose was especially flowery and would no longer pass muster ...more
D.M. Dutcher
Jul 07, 2012 D.M. Dutcher rated it liked it
Shelves: classic, christian
This is a badly written book that manages to become a classic through a powerful idea: that if people took a pledge to live like Jesus would if He lived their lives, everything would change.

Henry Maxwell is a well-to-do preacher who is accosted by a tramp looking for work as he composes his sermon. Soon it's Sunday, and he is preaching that sermon in front of his rich and successful congregation. But he is interrupted by that same tramp, who is determined to have his say before he dies.

That tr
May 20, 2015 Charity rated it really liked it
Finished listening to this as a book on tape. Excellent story, curious narrative style, sometimes a bit formulaic and meandering in its thought threads, but the message is a good one intended to challenge readers to take up the mantle of responsibility for interacting with others in godly compassion. Worth reading.
Steven Henry
Sep 30, 2007 Steven Henry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
The main thinking in this book is "What would Jesus do?" It one of the most important questions we can ask! It has become a fad and drifted off with the rest of the fads. But, the questions importance still remains, because one day we will all stand before God and give an account for EVERY IDLE WORD, for those who are in Christ! So, this book not only asks the question, but illustrates it through the presentation of real-life-like situations in a small fictional town. Great book - effective appl ...more
Nefreteri Jacobsen
Jun 06, 2016 Nefreteri Jacobsen rated it really liked it
I really loved this book, but more so for the message and how it really got me thinking about What Would Jesus Do? It definitely brings to consciousness the stark differences of past and present societies' social evils and injustices. As a Christian I realized I definitely am not doing enough and unfortunately do not harbor a genuine love of mankind and my fellow neighbor that is displayed in this book.

As for the story I was thoroughly enjoying it and following the lives of the characters, excit
Ron Tenney
Nov 15, 2015 Ron Tenney rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to be challenged by their Christian discipleship
I don’t remember how I became aware of the book, “In His Steps” by Charles Monroe Sheldon. But I decided to read this volume which has been credited with practically coining the phrase, “What would Jesus do?”
On one level, this book can be seen as corny, sentimental and predictable. But that is not my conclusion. Published in 1896, the social reform movement of the time is ever present. Set in and around Chicago, we meet Reverend Raymond, a good man that has a life-changing experience that causes
Oct 29, 2015 Leto rated it really liked it
In His Steps is a book about Christians who were at church one day and heard a message about a man who died. Henry Maxwell who was the sermon teller had a plan and an idea saying that the people should think about what Jesus would do for a year. He also meant to do anything that Jesus would have done. He said to not do what Jesus wouldn't do.

While Rachel Winslow one day hated a man and then another day loved the same man who smoked cigars. In the book you'll find out about someone who lost a jo
Greg Dill
Sep 19, 2015 Greg Dill rated it it was ok
I tried reading this timely Christian classic, but couldn't draw myself to finish. It seems this book is written after the American Puritan style of Christian beliefs where right behavior, rules, and morality are key... not Jesus. The premise of the book is about a congregation who promises to ask themselves, "What Would Jesus Do?" before making any decisions in life. They are then to go with what they believe Jesus would have done in each situation in their lives. The only problem is that this ...more
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Charles Monroe Sheldon was an American minister in the Congregational churches and leader of the Social Gospel movement.

His novel, In His Steps, introduced the principle of "What Would Jesus Do?" which articulated an approach to Christian theology that became popular at the turn of the 20th Century and had a revival almost one hundred years later.
More about Charles M. Sheldon...

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“We must know Jesus before we can imitate Him.” 7 likes
“Must Jesus bear the cross alone And all the world go free? No, there's a cross for every one, And there's a cross for me.” 2 likes
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