Retired U.K. minister Frank Allred’s latest book, Seven Steps to Glory, serves as a basic introduction to the Christian faith, outlining small steps toward spiritual growth for the new believer. Allred’s writing stands apart from books that, while similar in premise, water down certain hard truths of the gospel. For example, God is a God of judgment and wrath as well as love -- a point Allred insists upon.
Allred’s seven steps are common-sense staples of faith, such as “Humble Yourself,” “Trust God’s Word,” and “Join the Church.” Each step is given an individual chapter and then broken into bite-sized sub-points. Strongly based in and supported by Scripture, each section and subsection is bracketed by relevant verses, and Allred refers to, on average, nearly seven verses a page in his actual text. Citing 86 years of ministry, Allred writes as an earnest pastor intent on warning new converts of potential pitfalls along the Christian walk. He warns against apathy, lack of faith, lukewarm churches, and name-only Christians, urging his reader to avoid these temptations “like the plague.” The book’s mission seems guided by Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets.”
Believers of any background will easily agree that the seven steps Allred offers are all worthy suggestions with scriptural backing. Readers should be aware, however, of the author’s Calvinist background as seen in his points (unconditional election is a pet topic of Allred’s, and there is an insistence on eternal security throughout). Nevertheless, Allred’s tone, while insistent in urging his reader toward growth, is also humble, and Allred repeatedly uses himself as an illustration of the Christian as a work in progress. This slim book is sprinkled with personal stories, from Allred describing his wife’s perfumed love letters to gently poking fun at his own “senior moment” in the neighborhood pharmacy.
The book ends with no conclusion, as such; Allred simply wraps up his seventh step with a note on prayer. Seven Steps is a solid—if simple—guidebook for the new believer. Allred is quick to address apparent inconsistencies within his writing as well as anticipate objections from the reader, and because of this self-awareness, the book is well-suited for a recent convert with questions and would make a helpful gift for such a person. I would also recommend this book for church libraries. – Kelsey Warren, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
If you have become a Christian recently, or if you are seriously interested and wanting to become one, the Seven Steps to Glory are addressed to you. In this book, I assume that the reader is persuaded that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. For this reason, I do not enter into argument about the existence or the personality of God. My sole purpose is to assist you by explaining simply how to become a Christian or, if you have already put your trust in Christ, what steps you need to take to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.