Book Review: The Calvary Road

The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession with Revel Hession, Valde Books

Critical read 
Must read 
Good read 
Read if you want 
Read something else

Why read this book? “The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession is a book that is at once an “under the radar” offering and an influential classic. Like so many great books on New Covenant living and the life of Christ lived in us in place of our own lives, it is a great book, an important book, and a largely unread book.

Hession walks through a progression of understandings necessary to grasp and to live by the life of Christ in us. His choice of topics as they appear in the table of contents appear eclectic. Yet they unfold in a sequence that has coherent relevance to the true seeker. I was challenged by the truths in every chapter.

It was a divine gift that I stumbled onto a mention of this book in someone else’s writings. I had never heard of it, and had to search a bit to find it (Amazon has it if you look around for it). As I have talked about the book with others, I have run into a couple of people who give the classic comment along the lines of, “Oh, yeah. I remember reading that book in college.” Like so many worthy books that people read only because it was assigned, the value is lost and the message forgotten.

The book is worth reading and taking to heart. So get it and read it.

The point of the book – As Hession states the matter, “Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts.” For that pouring into us to take place, for our Lord’s will to be lived in us, our wills and our lives must be broken. They must be forfeited to His control, and that must be an ongoing process, a continual process in us. Such a daily experience is what he calls “The Calvary Road.”

This “Calvary Road” is the road Jesus walked every day of His life on earth. True disciples of Jesus will walk that road as well. It is the straight road on the other side of the narrow gate. It is the “Highway of Holiness” of which Isaiah wrote in chapter 35. It is the path of life and the way of all the promises of our God to His children.

The impact of the book – For me, reading this book tied together a number of themes found in the scriptures, including revival, humility, servanthood, and the power of the blood of the lamb in our lives. It is a fairly quick read, and is easily digested due to Hession’s clear and succinct writing style. For a modest investment of time the reader gains a lifetime of critical habits of mind that can open the way to all of the New Covenant life we have in Jesus.

Quotes – “We want to be very simple in this matter of revival. Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts. Jesus is always victorious. In heaven they are praising Him all the time for His victory. Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He is never defeated. His power is boundless. And we, on our part, have only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall His power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service. His victorious life will fill us and overflow through us to others. That that is revival in its essence.”

“Only one thing that prevents Jesus filling our cups as He passes by, and that is sin in one of its thousand forms. The Lord Jesus does not fill dirty cups. anything that springs from self, however small it may be, is sin. Self-energy or self-complacency in service is sin. Self-pity in trials or difficulties, self-seeking in business or Christian work, self-indulgence in one’s spare time, sensitiveness, touchiness, resentment and self-defense when we are hurt or injured by others, self-consciousness, reserve, worry, fear; all spring from self and all are sin and make our cups unclean.”

Similar readsThe Crucified Life by A.W. Tozer. The Calvary Road by Roy Hession. The Three-fold Secret of the Holy Spirit by James McConkey. Union With God by Madame Jeane Guyon. The Indwelling Life of Christ and The Mystery of Godliness both by W. Ian Thomas. Christ Life by A.B. Simpson.

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