In God's Grip

Russell J. Levenson

Book cover for In God's Grip
Book cover for In God's Grip

In God's Grip

In God's Grip

Russell J. Levenson

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Description

In God's Grip: What Golf Can Teach Us About The Gospel


In 1953, as legendary golfer Ben Hogan accepted the U.S. Open Championship Trophy for the fourth time, he pointed to several specific elements that he felt made his accomplishments possible. He referenced "adequate preparation and knowledge of the course." He thanked his wife, Valerie, who, in his words, "has helped me more than she knows." Tucked within his gratitude were words that might have surprised some: "But there's something else I'm thankful for-you just can't do this sort of thing without God's help."


This is a book about God's help.


With permission of the heirs of Ben Hogan, author, pastor and priest, Russell Levenson, Jr. employs Hogan's timeless Classic "Five Lessons, " as a metaphor for growing and living the Christian Faith. This is a book for those who love the game of Golf and those who want to know more about the living an active and vibrant faith. Golfers and Disciples alike will love this journey with Ben Hogan and Levenson, as the words blended together within the fabric of a deeper understanding of how one comes to faith, grows in their faith and shares their faith with others.


In the Preface, Levenson quotes Hogan,


"In 1946 I ... honestly began to feel that I could count on playing fairly well each time I went out, that there was no practical reason for me to feel I might suddenly "lose it all." I would guess that what lay behind my new confidence was this: I had stopped trying to do a great many difficult things perfectly because it has become clear in my mind that this ambitious over-thoroughness was neither possible nor advisable, or even necessary. All you needed to groove were the fundamental movements- and there weren't so many of them."


Then Levenson goes on to suggest that Hogan's premise that embracing a new confidence in playing golf came not from acquiring more skills or new insights but from homing in on a few key fundamentals, was a breath of fresh air to any frustrated golfer trying to find his or her way to excellence. Hogan was offering not more to do and learn, but less. In fact, only five lessons that would enable a golfer to enjoy the game for a lifetime.


In today's multi-faceted world with its information flow beyond anyone's ability to receive or process, it is tempting for the Church, for religionists, and for Christian authors like me, for instance, to hand others a long list of things to do, and pray, and study in order to become a follower of Jesus and to live the life he calls his disciples to live. What if Hogan's principles speak to our own hunger not for more, but for less? That is precisely what this small, simple volume is intended to offer you-five key reflections to promote understanding and growing in the Christian life.... Toward that end, I bid you to hear Hogan's counsel: "Generally speaking, a teacher is no better than his pupil's ability to work and to learn."





Critical Reviews

"Russ Levenson has done a masterful job of showing how the game of golf is a metaphor of living a good life through the Gospels and that when we are in "God's Grip", anything is possible!"


Joe Sweeney, Businessman and author of 5 books including New York Times best seller, Networking is a Contact Sport


"If you enjoy golf, as I do, you think often about how to improve your game. Russ Levenson's well-written, well researched new book, In God's Grip, is a winsome parable that uses golf to gently confront us with profound, lifechanging tips to improve something far more important, our relationship with Christ."


Max McLean, Founder & Artistic Director, Fellowship for Performing Arts


"In In God's Grip: What Golf Can Teach Us About The Gospel, Russ Levenson writes beautifully about the spiritual life, using the game of golf and Ben Hogan's timeless lessons. In God's Grip comes from a life devoted to pursuing a relationship with God from the perspective of a seasoned priest and pastor who takes ancient truths and puts them in the context of our 21st-century life. It's a "must read!"


The Rev. Dr. Fredrick Robinson, Editor, The Anglican Digest


"This delightful little book on what golf can teach us about the most important questions people have about their lives is a truly great read. As a former teenage caddy for the likes of Charlie Coody, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Weiskopf, and others, and is now pleased to serve as a divinity school dean, I recommend it wholeheartedly. Kudos to my friend Russ Levenson for combining these passions of his in just the right order."


Dr. Doug Sweeney, Dean of Beeson Divinity School


"Golf is a skill that requires practice and that can bring you hours of joy. Russ Levenson show that faith is a skill that requires practice and that can bring you hours of joy. He is a gifted apologist, past, and preacher. All three gifts are apparent in this compelling and beautiful book. Buy it for your friends, family, and for that person you know who just happens to play golf!


The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary


Publishing Information

Publisher: Insight Press, Inc.
Pub date: 2023-10-17
Length: 174 pages
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