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Losers Like Us: Redefining Discipleship after Epic Failure

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  48 reviews
In 2008, after seven years of preparation, Daniel Hochhalter permanently failed his PhD, leaving him with no refunds, no transferable credits, no recourse to appeal or try again, and no hope of gaining the qualifications needed for his desired career. Then he lost his job. Devastated and in crisis, with no Plan B and no clue how to redeem his future, he looked to the twelv ...more
Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by David C. Cook (first published June 20th 2014)
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Mark Kennicott
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirational
With humor, clarity, and extreme candor Daniel Hochhalter introduces us to the dark underbelly of all of our carefully constructed facades to reveal the inner loser we hide deep within. By exploring the faults and failures of each of Jesus' disciples (their loseriness), we find that we are in good company. I have not failed a PhD as Hochhalter did, but after reading each chapter I felt as though I should have received a consulting fee, or a royalty, or some kind of credit for the source material ...more
David Holford
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I really needed and that I will recommend to others. I started the book knowing it was for someone like me and finished it understanding that it is for anyone who is honest with themselves.

As other reviewers have stated, it is not a self-help book. That would, in fact, defeat the whole purpose. It is not about how not to be a loser, or how to no longer be a loser, or how to come back from being a loser. Dan's compelling story demonstrates how he came to realize that he was a loser
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Honest, refreshing and encouraging, this book gives insight into the lives of the 12 men who Jesus chose as his closest followers. And to myself.
Daniel Hochhalter shares openly about his own life, in particular the moment when he failed at his life-long pursuit for a PhD. That humiliation drove him to the scriptures. What he found encouraged him that there is hope for someone who feels like a loser. Thankfully, he shared it in this book.
In "Losers Like Us," Hochhalter takes a chapter-by-chapter
Andrew Rose
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Character study

This book examines the faults of the 12 disciples, as a method to both discover our own flaws and also to show how Christ uses broken people in his work.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A refreshing book, written with great honesty and insight. I liked the fact that it does not try to "fix" us losers but allows us to really examine our hearts and our preconceived notions of ourselves and others. At the end of the day, we all have things that make us feel as if we haven't measured up to some standard because the truth of the matter is that no one ever does. That's where grace comes in. I am thankful for a God who loves me despite the fact that I can be very unlovable...and I wil ...more
Gary B
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I came across an extract from this book several months before I read it. Both the title and the premise appealed to me - that we are losers in many ways; and how we view, understand and respond to that is important.

Some of the chapters resonated with me much more than others. I did struggle a little with the chapter on Judas Iscariot. Daniel clearly holds a more hopeful and positive view than I do.

The last two chapters brought the book together nicely. They seem to be written in a different styl
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
What an interesting read. I began this book as a skeptic. I felt that I would not like the term 'loser' being applied to the disciples and myself. I did not feel that it would speak life into people's situations. Little did I know that the author would be audacious enough to apply the term to Jesus as well!

But I'm so glad he did.

Thankfully, he carefully defined what he meant by "loser" and explains how we all fit that label. He also explains that ultimately, if Jesus hadn't also fit that label
I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could. This will resonate with every Christian who has ever felt like a loser--and who hasn't? The author describes how each of the original 12 disciples were "losers" in some way or other. Yet Jesus chose them to be His closest confidants, to build His Kingdom. And He still uses "losers like us" today. God wants us broken and needy so we depend totally on Him. He wants us to be honest with Him and not try to make ourselves look better than we are.

James Frederick
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I have read this book. I read it a few years ago and still think of it often. This time around, we used it as part of our Sunday School adult Bible class. I also recommended it to our Deacon, who used it as a small group study at two separate churches.

I think that this is a sacred work. It holds SO much wisdom and it forces you to examine SO many pre-conceived notions.

I STILL would like to see a sequel that deals with many of the REST of the Bible "superstars of loserdom
patrick Lorelli
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
The author Daniel Hochhalter, picked this title because as he was sitting across from two people who had just told him that all of his work for hi PHD was for not, it was not accepted. He had no plan B. he felt like a lot of people like a failure. How could I spend so much time and money and come away with nothing to show for it. How I am I going to look to my family and friends, to my place of employment, will I still have a job? He then goes through his failure or not by writing about how each ...more
James Frederick
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I REALLY liked this book. I love books that make you think, and this one does that, in spades. I learned a lot about the Disciples that I did not know, and frankly, never would have even thought to wonder about.

For example, why did Jesus select the people he did? What was it about their profession or their personality that drew Jesus to call them? And what does that say about us when we try to follow Him today?

There is a lot of really good stuff, here. Dan may be "a loser," but he is also a very
Karla Goforth Abreu
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it
The author basically bares his soul while examining the undesirable qualities of each of the twelve original disciples of Jesus. Probably, everyone who reads this book will be able to identify with one of the profiles presented, at some level. It is a story and study that will encourage every reader.
Rob McFarren
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I needed to read this book. It is a really important read for those of us in an achievement and success oriented world (all of us). There are a few chapters that alone are worth the price of the book. Very good book. I'll be referring to insights in it for a long time, I'd imagine. And yes, I am a loser too.
Christopher  Julian
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good and different perspective on the lives of the disciples, and Jesus, as losers! The author takes his own personal experience as a loser and applies the lives of those who followed Jesus to his own life. The author saw himself as a loser because he was denied his PhD after years of work. Great introspection. I had never thought of the lives of these men as deeply as this. Refreshing.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I found this book very inspirational and it was exactly what I needed. The best way I can summarize this book is to use Daniel Hochhalter's own words: "Let's face it, when we experience pain, we don't need to be preached at by people who 'have it all together'."
Chaplain Stanley Chapin
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must read

Truly an eye opener, that presents Jesus, the twelve disciples and some apostles in a manner that creates an unprecedented view and understanding. One that truly helped me.
Siobhan Newman
One of THE best books I have ever read. Every Christian should read this to begin to understand what/who you are in light of the Disciples and in Jesus Christ. KUDOS to the greatest "loser" writer I have read in a long time!
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author may have taken a few liberties with the disciples motives, but there is much to relate to and learn from in this book!
Mary Lewis
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sermon-series
Really a wonderful book. Hochhalter incorporates biographies of the Apostles with his own experiences to produce a work that is personally honest, biblically informative and richly devotional.
Kelly Boggs
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-growth
This book is both humbling and encouraging. Losers Like Us is a unique view of the 12 Disciples and Jesus and about each one’s flaws and failures that should have prevented them from being chosen by Jesus but instead found them to be perfect candidates. The author also weaves in his excruciating experience of losing his doctorate degree. It brought to light some different ideas about who God chooses to call and work in. His answer is God calls losers.

He says, “...strips the disciples, and me, t
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Encouragement for the Down-Hearted

What a wonderful book! Once I realized I was depressed again, I knew I would be in it for the long haul. So I sought out books that could soothe my broken heart. I am so thankful to have come across this one!

More than any other book (aside from the Bible, of course) on the disciples of Christ, I learned the most from this one. I was uplifted by the author's willingness to make himself so open and vulnerable to his readers. I was instructed by viewpoin
Rich Thornton
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Helpful personal story mixed with insights about the disciples

We are all losers if we would just recognize it. But this author experienced that in a profound way for himself and here shares hope for the rest of us. Not hope that we can become winners but hope that God will see us through and allow us to help other losers. It's a different perspective than most books but by sharing about the twelve disciples we see that it is authentic.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I should have known when the first line in the forward warned me not to put this book down. When someone says that, you think, they probably have good reason to know that readers might want to put it down. But did I listen? Nope. I kept reading. I thought it couldn’t get worse. But it did. There are so many reasons I rated this book with one star that I can’t even begin to list them all. I will just say that if it doesn't seem like your kind of book, then listen to your inner being.
Jesse M
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book with my church life group. I appreciate the insight and Hochhalter offers some great food for thought, but the pacing is slow and drudging. It takes him so long to get to the point in some of the chapters it’s hard to remain engaged. It’s worth it if you stick it out, but my concern is how easy it is to put this book down.
Mali Masinga
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Relatable on every level

I laughed and cried on every page. The writing was so simple and understandable albeit thoroughly researched. I found the author’s personal experiences made the book relatable and page turning. I hope to read many more books from this author.
April Yamasaki
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A creative and helpful response to failure and disappointment by turning to Scripture and studying the "failures" who Jesus chose as his first disciples.
Rocky Woolery
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Some good insights, but a lot of repetitious discussion about the author's failed PhD.
Lenita Sheridan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Book Everyone Should Read

The Author has succeeded in one thing--writing a book. Furthermore, it is a book for everyone, not just Christians, but all losers.

In Chapter 1, the author writes "True, there is no Bible verse saying that if you are a loser, God loves you and prefers to work with you." Actually, there is such a Bible verse: "My Grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians, 12: 9

In his chapter on Judas Iscariot and in other parts of the book
Ellie Hilger
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was an incredibly honest look at the twelve disciples of the Bible. Hochhalter identifies one "loser" characteristic in each of the Twelve, and relates them to his own personal story of loserness, the low points including bankruptcy and permanently losing his PhD. His story is at times sobering, hilarious, and tragic. It is clear that he is intimately familiar with exactly what it means to be a loser (something that all of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid). Hochhalter choses to e ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-life
I sympathize with Hocchalter's plight. After seven years of study, approximately $60k in expenses, and positive approval from his advisers, his PhD was rejected by two jerks who presided over the oral examination. To pour salt into the wounds, Hocchalter lost his dream job about six weeks after the failed PhD.

The book is both a story of his journey against the backdrop of Jesus' twelve disciples. Daniel compares his life to each of the disciples, finding common ground with their failures and cha
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After living in Portland, Oregon, for 20 years, I returned to my home state and now reside in Helena, Montana, with my wife and waggle of wiener dogs. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University and a Masters of Divinity from George Fox Evangelical Seminary.

Beyond that, there isn’t anything worth noting except that the Lord loves me.

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  Justin A. Reynolds burst onto the YA scene last year with his debut book Opposite of Always, a heartfelt novel about love and friendship...
50 likes · 8 comments
“Remember, we are all part of a great story that is really about God, not us. He is the number one character (read: winner), and we are all secondary (read: losers).” 1 likes
“And that leaves the fourth reason Jesus prefers to use losers for kingdom work: empathy. Losers have it; others don’t. Only losers, broken as they are, can speak to the pain and brokenness of other losers. They have earned that right. Let’s” 0 likes
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