Item description for The First to Follow: The Apostles of Jesus by John R. Claypool & Ann Wilkinson Claypool...
Overview As readers look at those that Jesus called as apostles and consider themselves as part of that enlarging circle, they gain not only a deeper sense of their own reality, but also a deeper sense of how Christ wants to work with them.
Publishers Description By studying those whom Jesus selected as apostles and what he did for them, to them, with them, and through them, we can learn much about how we experience the holy in our own day. This book is about those apostles, their relationships with Jesus and with each other and what the dynamics of that community can teach us."
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Reviews - What do customers think about The First to Follow: The Apostles of Jesus?
Invaluable analysis of the 12 Apostles Feb 15, 2010
I enjoyed this book immensely. The author does an great job of piecing together the personalities and lives of the Apostles. I particularly enjoyed his opinions of why Judas betrayed Jesus. Very insightful read.
In THE FIRST TO FOLLOW, The Story of the Apostles Has Even Greater Meaning Feb 19, 2009
THE BIBLE has been said to be one of the most influential books ever written, but for some, like myself, it is often confusing. THE FIRST TO FOLLOW, however, gives the reader, from the biblical references and Fr. John Claypool's insights, an understanding into the complexities and the "issues" this dynamic group of men encountered and often overcame as they became followers of Jesus and later teachers of his word. In this book, Ann Claypool, John's devoted wife, has collected talks and sermons Fr. John has delivered, and put them into a collection that truly emulates how Fr. John would have written this book himself.
If THE FIRST TO FOLLOW only told of how the apostles came to be recruited to Christ and their "story," it would be a good book. Where THE FIRST TO FOLLOW excels though is in the wisdom that Fr. John Claypool shares so willingly with the reader, which comes from personal remembrances and situations that he experienced.
In talking with Ms. Claypool, I learned that compiling this collection was not easy, as she had to, often, insist that the words spoken by Fr. John were as he would have delivered them. She is to be congratulated on doing this because, the writing is if Fr. John was there, personally delivering the message with the reader.
Another aspect about the stories about the apostles, while they are important, is how they are explained in such a way by Fr. John that the reader, whether Christian or not, learns more about the challenges faced by the apostles, and even how we, the reader can benefit from studying those challenges. Those who have been blessed to have heard Fr. John, realize that he had a way of delivering a sermon, or talk, that made you realize that he, too, has experience the same kind of imperfections in life as the rest of us.
Typical of this quality from the chapter on Andrew is when Fr. John discusses hearing a personnel manager of a large national firm talk about the personnel manager's philosophy of management. When the manager, in his talk that Fr. John attended, has new recruits join his team, he first determines if they intent on "being something" or "doing something." In explaining the difference the manager said, "Those who are intent on being something use the job to promote themselves...People like that are not likely to take risks or make sacrifices, so they are a real liability to any company. The higher they go, the more costly their decisions become, in their own self-interest, and the worse it is for the whole enterprise." Later, the personnel manager said, "In contrast, the people who want to do something are more secure and self-confident. They believe that the way they are is good and they don't try to use their job to enhance their status." Upon hearing this Fr. John wrote, "I had never heard that distinction before, and I confess to you that this speaker held up a mirror to my own condition. As I heard those two type of personality described, I realized in ways I could not deny that, all my life, I had been trying to "be" something because of a crippling sense that I was not good enough as I was." Fr. John later writes, "At a private meeting of fellow clergy a few weeks later, someone said to me, "John, if you and I could ever hear the Gospel deep in our gut, we could fully believe the astonishing affirmation: 'You are the light of the world.' Jesus did not say that you have to be number one to get light, or out-achieve everybody else to earn light. He said that, by the grace of God's creation, you "are" the light of the world. If we could ever feel that truth in the depth of our souls, then we could truly let our light shine."
In this exchange, and I apologize for quoting so much, Fr. John not only gives us a direction to follow as an individual in our own lives, but he also affirms that he had to learn to follow it, too.
I highly recommend THE FIRST TO FOLLOW. To those of you who have known Fr. John, your remembrances of his "gifts" will gladden your heart as you read this book. To those of you who did not have the pleasure of hearing Fr. John in person prepare to open your mind and heart with each turn of the page as you will be surely graced with his wisdom and insights.
The First To Follow Jan 24, 2009
Dr. Claypool has put a brilliant spotlight on the individual lives of those first twelve men who left everything to follow Jesus Christ; their thoughts, their emotions, their relationships, and commitments. The book is inspirational, informative, and can be life changing.
Perfect condition! Aug 4, 2008
The book had been on the shelf at a library, but was still in pristine condition. It arrived on time as well.
A New Treasure of John R Claypool! Jun 25, 2008
We owe a great debt to Ann Wilkinson Claypool! She has edited and collected the Sermons, John delivered in places from St Luke's Church in Birmingham to Chautauqua!
Ann has relied on the helpful sources of many of John's friends and family. I have already underlined a dozen of his names and quotations from Walter Brueggemann, M Gandhi, C.S. Lewis, Paul Tillich, Carlyle Marney, Sam Keen, Anthony DeMello, Simone Weil, William James!
These and other sources, I heard John deliver while in his Theology Classes at McAfee. I have noted that John favored Andrew, Peter, Thomas and John as his most prolific disciples! I saw insights from John's Sermons which revealed new facts about the disciples: "Jesus and Andrew had both grown up in the northern part of Palestine called Galilee.
Andrew was probably surprised that a fellow from his hometown turned out to be the One whom God had chosen to do the messiannic work. Andrew was one of three pairs of brothers that became part of the intimate circle of Jesus' disciples. These brothers were James and John, Andrew and Simon Peter, and Matthew and James.
In his sermons John repeats some of his wonderful stories of Anthony de Mello. One of those is about the Holy Man who passed off the diamond as large as a man's head to the villager. The man could not sleep and came early the next morning to return the diamond, "so that the Holy Man could give him the wealth that makes it possible for you to give away this diamond so easily!"
In my position as a prison Chaplain, I used this story in sermons dealing with the new hopes and aspirations of inmates who would be released into the world with this exact same desire and need! This was one example of how John's stories were passed on to men in great need and hunger for a change in their new life.
With Gratitude to Ann & John Claypool From Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood.