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Losers Like Us: Redefining Discipleship after Epic Failure

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  43 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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4.06  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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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
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
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.
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.

P.e. lolo
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
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.
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.
Chris 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.
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!
Chaplain Stanleigh 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.
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'."
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.
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!
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.
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
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the authors humble account of coming to terms with personal failure on a colossal scale. The writer Daniel Hochalter was denied his Ph.D when the University he was attending rejected his thesis. Seven years of preparation and positive feedback from mentors in the field couldn't save his scholarly pursuit. Hochalter turned to the original followers of Jesus to help him understand this devastating loss. After all these twelve men were in their own way failure themselves. The writer examine ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Calling all Losers! This book is for you.

I loved Daniel's story, and I loved his discussion about biblical losers. It is unfortunate that the impetus for this book WAS failure, but Daniel -God never wastes a hurt! I realize that brings little comfort nor returns what was "lost". But I believe your failure is touching more lives in more profound ways than if you had found success by your own making. I am grateful for the insights in your book; for the greater understanding of the disciples - so b
I am not going to be to harsh in this review because I didn't finish the book. I got to the chapter of bigotry and I deleted it from my Kindle? Simply put, I think that the author was unbiblical in much of what he said. The book felt like it was designed just as a guilt trip. Not one that was made to bring you to true repentance, mind you (I have no problem with feeling guilty about things I should feel guilty about), but just designed to make the reader feel bad about everything.

I didn't even f
Steve Carmeli
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suffering
This is a touching book about failure. A characteristic I liked was that the writer was very real and personal. Nevertheless this was a well written book. Also, his commentary and insights on the disciples of Jesus were something I'd never read and relatable. Though Daniel had suffered, he didn't beg for pity. He did not talk down to me either when he wrote that we are all losers. I found the book relatable and very interesting. Highly recommended.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, christian
Very novel approach to the character of each disciple. The author compares each character flaw with his own failings, and in turn, how they apply to you and me. I appreciate the honest writing as it made me feel less overwhelmed and isolated by my own failings. I was also reminded that even though I might feel that I have gone beyond God's grace.... it simply isn't true. God's mercy and love are unfathomable and his strength covers all my weakness.
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I am from Missoula, Montana, but currently live in Portland, Oregon with my wife and three 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.
“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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