Book Review: When Faith Takes Flight
When Faith Takes Flight was written by Jim Walters, a Pastor, civilian flight instructor, and former US Air Force fighter pilot. Walters became a Christian in a military chapel in Vietnam, and was quickly taken under the wing of a Christian in a local military Bible study.
When Faith Takes Flight isn’t an autobiography or memoir, however; it is an instructional book on Christian doctrine. The author is both a faith instructor and a flight instructor, and both perspectives are evident throughout the book.
Each of the 10 chapters covers a basic Christian doctrinal element (the existence of God, sin, grace, the Bible, etc.). The chapters (or “lessons”) begin with a flight related story, draw an analogy to a Biblical concept, and then relate a Biblical lesson — complete with a “quiz” and questions for group discussion. Each lesson is, in many ways, a miniature sermon.
The book’s primary objective is to teach theological concepts using plain and understandable language, and it succeeds. It is written in a casual style, making it easy for those who are not pilots (or even Christians) to understand. The simple explanations make difficult concepts easy to understand, though they are also sometimes elementary in tone.
The flight stories are interesting, if too few (and too few military), and direct applications to the pilot lifestyle or military profession are regrettably few. However, this a book on Christian doctrine, not a book on aviation or the military; in addition, the analogies really do work. For example, Walters uses the example of a pilot who ‘does all she can’ to glide her crippled airplane to a runway, only to “fall short,” and effectively uses that example to explain the theology underlying Romans 3:23.
Recommended for those looking for excellent, straightforward explanations of core Biblical concepts. It is a book of theological doctrine, not aviation, so it is not specifically geared toward military pilots (or pilots at all).