The Trail: A Tale About Discovering God’s Will by Ed Underwood | Book Review

Book cover for The Trail by Ed UnderwoodFrom a popular and well-loved pastor comes this enchanting, beautifully crafted allegory exploring the mysterious process of discovering God’s will.

Matt and Brenda feel trapped because they look for God’s guidance about major life decisions in completely opposite ways.

Their friends, Brian and Lindsey, try to help by introducing them to a person who had helped them gain an unshakeable confidence in God’s will.

After meeting Sam Lewis in the stunning High Sierras, the three hike together, Matt and Brenda learn that God’s good and perfect will is not a destination on the horizon of life where everything makes sense, but a place where your life is exposed to God’s power. One by one, Sam’s eight principles illuminate the path ahead. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, all three characters desperately seek and experience God’s redemptive guidance.

You will treasure this timeless tale about discovering God’s will.

(Image and synopsis via Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ed Underwood’s book, The Trail. Would it be another The Shack, which wasn’t one of my favorites? Or would it be something new and refreshing. I am happy to see it was the latter.

As we all know, life is about making choices. In a marriage, choosing involves two individuals and sometimes differing opinions. Enter Matt and Brenda, a young married couple, facing a difficult decision on which they do not agree. To make matters worse, they also don’t look to God for guidance in the same way.

Friends tell them about a rather different kind of pastor who teaches eight principles that make it possible to have unshakeable trust when making such major decisions.

So off Matt and Brenda go to meet Sam, this unusual preacher. Meeting in the High Sierras is a little nerve-wracking when you don’t know the person you’re meeting but they press forward. Sam Lewis seems like an ordinary kind of fellow and they settle in to learn from him.

Early on Matt and Brenda learn that God’s will is not a destination, a place where everything makes sense in life. Instead God’s will is that place where life is opened and exposed to God’s power through intimacy with Him and with others. Sam rolls out his eight principles, one by one, shining a clear light on the path ahead. Underwood’s story of Matt, Brenda and Sam ends with all three seeking desperately to experience God’s redemption and guidance.

My Recommendation:

I am not inclined to rate books but in this case I am willing to give Ed Underwood’s The Trail a 5-star rating. I found Underwood’s presentation of Sam’s eight principles to be an incredible study of not only the principles but also the Bible. In a little over 200 pages, the author shares an incredible Bible study through a fictional story, a parable, if you will. If you love Christian fiction filled with Scripture and principles, you will love The Trail.

Meet the Author:

pic_lg_Underwood_EdEd Underwood is a pastor, author, and speaker. In addition to leading Church of the Open Door, Ed has taught Bible school students, seminarians, spoken to packed conferences, and written numerous articles and books. When Ed is not studying, leading, discipling, writing, or speaking, he loves spending time with his wife, Judy, their children, and grandchildren. He enjoys backpacking, and still tries to surf some.

(Bio and image via Tyndale House Publishers)

Connect with Ed Underwood:

Book Details:

Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9112-0
Release Date: August 2014
Page Count: 208

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Trail from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.



2 thoughts on “The Trail: A Tale About Discovering God’s Will by Ed Underwood | Book Review

  1. Hi Sherrey! Well, I liked the The Shack, and this is better, that is very high praise indeed. It’s nice to have a story without pat answers, but describes the spiritual life as a journey. I really agree with that.
    Thank you for telling us all about this book. It sounds like a winner!
    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


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