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In His Steps

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  • In His Steps

    As believers it behooves us to be aware.
    An important part of being aware is to know history.
    This is why every curriculum for a Christian religious education includes Church History.
    It is not just religious history that is needed, but secular history, also.
    Part of history is the literature which influences a particular time and place.
    In other words, what was being read by every body?.
    As of fifty years ago the different list of must read classics ranged in number from 1,200 to 2,000. From those lists I have read about 1,500 – at a rate of between 30 to 50 books per year from age 14 to 40.

    While the lists for Christian literature are nowhere as long or do they agree upon common publications, it would seem just as important for the believer to be aware of what previous generations of believers were reading as it is to be knowledgeable of the “classics.”

    This is my reasoning for suggesting this book. For the 40 year period between 1896 and 1936 thirty million copies of this book were sold. There are many additional readers, like myself, who read used copies. So, how many millions have read this book, and what might have been its influence during the first decades of the 20th century?

    To place the 30 million copies in perspective realize the population of the USA in 1900 was 76 million; in 1910 it was 92 million, and in 1920 it was 106 million. It could be that more than a third of Americans read In His Steps.

    In His Steps is a best-selling religious fiction novel written by Charles Monroe Sheldon. First published in 1896, the book has sold more than 30,000,000 copies, and ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time. The full title of the book is In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?.

    Chicago Advance, the original publisher, failed to register the copyright in the proper form. Other publishers took advantage of this, publishing the book without paying the author royalties. Thus lower prices and multiple publishers led to larger sales.

    In 1896, for his Sunday night services, Sheldon thought he would write a story, which would continue one chapter a week, about various persons who applied "What would Jesus do?" to their lives. Sheldon was soon preaching to a packed crowd. When the story was over, it was published in the Advance, one chapter per week, and finally the Advance printed a ten-cent paperback edition which sold 100,000 copies in a few weeks.

  • #2
    Thanks Glen. I have not read this book, but will pray about it.