Rediscovering Humility: Why the Way Up Is Down (eBook)

Christopher A. Hutchinson
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Foreword by David Wells.

Most of us value humility . . . especially in other people. But Jesus taught that humility is central to the Christian life. Author Christopher Hutchinson invites the church to follow ChristÑboth individually and corporatelyÑin this high calling.

A systematic and comprehensive treatment of this core tenant of Christianity, Rediscovering Humility is structured around the three times Jesus addresses the topic in ScriptureÑhow it is found, embraced and applied. This insightful resource should be required reading for all seminary students so they can understand the pitfalls of leadership before they begin to pastor. Current pastors and church leaders will find Hutchinson's critiques and suggestions helpful as they seek to create humble and healthy churches. Individuals who have lost an appreciation for humility as a central Christian virtue will be reminded of its value as the best way to grow closer to and more like Jesus.

Humble Christians create healthy churches, but in today's world of celebrity pastors and widening platforms, our churches are more than ever imitating the prideful methodologies of our culture. Through his critiques, Hutchinson also offers suggestions for how Christians can better practice and promote humility in our time.

Offering a fresh and updated application of humility to our day, Hutchinson calls for a return to the path of humility as the one pilgrimage most necessary for Christian faith and life. By showing humility in in all its truth, beauty and goodness, it becomes a value worth seekingÑif never fully foundÑon this side of heaven.


Christopher Hutchinson is the senior pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Blacksburg, Virginia, and a graduate of Duke University (AB) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv). Prior to entering the ministry, Chris served in the US Army, including a combat tour during Operation Desert Storm. Chris and his wife, Kirstan, have two grown daughters. He wrote Rediscovering Humility: Why the Way Up Is Down.

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"In Rediscovering Humility, Chris Hutchinson serves as a gentle pastor, weaving together biblical truth, personal experience, and insights from poets and philosophers throughout history. This book will bless and challenge your soul. As you read, your love for Christ will growÑyour love for his sacrifice to atone for your pride and for his enabling power to display true humility."
Stephen T. Estock, Coordinator, PCA Discipleship Ministries

"In this engaging book, pastor Chris Hutchinson invites us to a rediscovery of a revolutionary, uniquely Christian virtueÑhumility. A masterful teacher, Chris shows how humility is at the center of the person and work of Jesus Christ and therefore at the core of the Christian life. Though humility may not come naturally to us (what Christian virtue does?), and though humility may be (in our North American context) radically subversive and countercultural, Chris adeptly shows how humility is evidence of the sanctifying work of Christ in our lives. My humble opinion(!) is that you will be challenged and inspired by Chris Hutchinson's rediscovery of humility."
Will Willimon, Author; United Methodist bishop, retired; Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

"In stating his case that humility has become a lost virtue in the Christian life, Chris Hutchinson winsomely restores humility to its proper place as the highest of Christian virtues. If you want a book on humility with ten steps to achieve it, skip Rediscovering Humility; however, if you want a book on humility that targets the heart itself, look no further."
J. R. Foster, Southeast Area Coordinator, Reformed University Fellowship

"Rediscovering Humility is a mind-enriching and heart-engaging study of a Christian grace that is as important as it is neglected. Pointing us to some of the Christian church's very best hymnody and devotional writing, Chris Hutchinson reminds us how central humility is to Christian piety. Most importantly, Hutchinson shows us how that piety is rooted in the teaching of Scripture. I warmly recommend this book."
Guy Prentiss Waters, James M. Baird, Jr. Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS

"Humility is a crucial and tricky topic about which to write. An author is expected to be an expert in his field, but humility eschews expertise. Only an author who recognizes his deep need for humility is qualified to write on humility. And for that reason I'm grateful for this book by Chris Hutchinson, a desperately needed study written by an eminently humble man."
Joe Holland, Pastor, Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church, Culpeper, VA; Assistant Editor, Tabletalk magazine

"How do you properly recommend a book on humility when blurbs seem consciously designed to hype and pander? How best to commend its author for a job well done? Perhaps with Farmer Hoggett's words to Babe after the pig carefully and confidently accomplished an equally unlikely feat and made it seem easy: 'That'll do.'"
Joel White, Lecturer in New Testament, Giessen School of Theology, Germany

"As a woman in a church, I worry sometimes that the voices of the lowly are too often dismissed without a good listen. It takes a robust humility for leaders to not merely tend to the needs, but also attend to the thoughts of those on the margins. Chris Hutchinson's intelligent, often funny, and truly accessible treatise on the central virtue of humility ought to be required reading for all of us."
Paige Britton, Curator of the Grass Roots Theological Library

"Humility? We know we should desire this Christian virtue, but it comes at a steep costÑto self-love, self-fulfillment, self-promotion. Informed by much wisdom from the church's past and fueled by careful interaction with Scripture, in this helpful book Chris Hutchinson reminds us that pride is idolatry. Humility, by contrast, is essential to the gospel, for it accompanies God's grace shown to us in Christ. If you are Christian, you need this book. Take up and read."
Shawn D. Wright, Author; Professor of Church History, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Pastor of Leadership Development, Clifton Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

"In his timely new book, Hutchinson not only helps readers understand humility from a biblical perspective, he shows us our urgent need for it. In particular, he demonstrates why, in this culture that so cavalierly rejects truth, we need humility to discover it, embrace it, and then graciously declare it."
Richard Doster, Author; editor of byFaith, the magazine of the Presbyterian Church in America

"My first thought in reading this book is that I haven't read much like it for a long time. I've come to value books on the Christian life based on how much they're immersed in the Scriptures. As it's filled with biblical wisdom, this book delivers. It's also steeped in the practical theology of earlier generations who gave great credence to the value of corporate humility in the life of the church. We would do well to heed the same counsel today, and this book is a good start."
David V. Silvernail, Jr., Senior Pastor, Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church, Leesburg, VA

"I had the amazing privilege of sitting under Pastor Hutchinson's faithful and humble preaching in college. Rediscovering Humility is a uniquely thorough and challenging appeal on the nature of corporate humility as God's people. With each page, I found myself saying, 'we need this.' In reading Rediscovering Humility may we remember that in Christ the way up is down and the beautiful joy that comes with bold self-forgetfulness."
SharDavia Walker, Author; Regional Women's Director, Campus Outreach Lynchburg, VA

"Humility is the bedrock of Christian maturity. It is not a spiritual gift, though it is a mark of the presence of the Holy Spirit in life. Instead it is the product of gratitude. Here this truth is both endorsed and explored. With careful exegesis allied to practical understanding our minds are expanded and our hearts challenged. In this slender volume humility is restored to the place reserved for it by Jesus."
Robert M. Norris, Teaching Pastor 4th Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, MD

"Chris Hutchinson offers a compelling case that humility is the chief of all virtues and at the center of God's plan of redemption. Basing his expositions on Scripture and guided by some of the great expositors of the past, he provides rewarding practical expositions of what it means to make this often neglected ideal the central paradigm of the Christian life."
George M. Marsden, Author; Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"How could someone write a book on humility without becoming puffed up and self-congratulatory? You would write it as Chris Hutchinson has done by not pointing to yourself and your achievements, but by pointing and submitting to the precepts and exhortations in Scripture. We know the drill: If you want to be great in the kingdom of God you must become a servant of all; you must go the end of the line; you must wash the feet of others. The words come easily enough, but in actual practice true humility lags way behind. We readily see the application for others, but we fail to see it for ourselves. So admit the reality of your pride and humbly read Rediscovering Humility. You will be challenged to desire what Paul, the once proud Pharisee, deeply desired: 'God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Galatians 6:14)."
Dominic Aquila, President, New Geneva Theological Seminary, Colorado Springs, CO

"Christopher Hutchinson's Rediscovering Humility fixes our eyes on Christ and the cross, arguing that, as we drink more deeply of Christ and Him alone, humility becomes our defining feature. Like the gospel itself, this seems at first almost too simple and unadorned to be true, but as Hutchinson ponders humility's beauty and logic, its ethics and witness, our eyes indeed turn from ourselves and toward God's glory. I pray this would be so, for all who pick up this book and for their churches."
Thomas Gardner, Author; Alumni Distinguished Professor of English, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

"In the chest-thumping, opposition-shaming, attention-grabbing ethos of today's popular culture, poverty of spirit is despised, meekness is confused with weakness, and humility is associated with losers. Chris Hutchinson's detailed study of humility is just what the church needs if Christians are to avoid 'losing our virtue,' borrowing David Wells' phrase, in the tsunamis of self-promotion that is our contemporary world."
Terry L. Johnson, Author; Senior Minister, Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, GA

"I need all the help I can get in cultivating humility. I am, therefore, glad for this book that helps me better understand it, want it, and apply it. Chris Hutchinson has mined Scripture, church history, and his own soul to find nuggets to share with proud, struggling Christians in the twenty-first century. 'It takes one to know one,' and because he knows himself well, he helps us a lot."
David A. Bowen, Assistant Minister, Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN; founding pastor, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Durham, NC

"Having worked in pastoral ministry with Chris Hutchinson for seven years, I observed in his life much of what he has written in this book. Pride and self-exaltation grow naturally out of man's fallen condition. Genuine humility is the by-product of grace. Chris has done us a great service by reminding us that God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Roland S. Barnes, Senior Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Statesboro, GA

"My brother has been working on this book for close to thirty years, and I have seen the beauty and impact its truths and themes have had on Chris' family, friends, congregations, and I hope myself, for decades now. This book helps us to see that where there is humility there is kindness, courage, and integrity. And laughter. Lots of joy and laughter, even in suffering."
Jeffrey D. Hutchinson, Coordinator of Church Planting, Mission Anabaino; Assistant Minister, Christ Presbyterian Church, New Haven, CT

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