Learning from My Father: Lessons on Life and Faith

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9780802867087: Learning from My Father: Lessons on Life and Faith

As a freshman at Harvard, David Johnson felt displaced, homesick, and overwhelmed by new intellectual challenges. So he began exchanging letters with his father, a Presbyterian pastor. Years later, David rediscovered those letters and realized how much candid, fatherly advice they contained -- and how their wisdom had shaped his life. Based on excerpts from these letters, Learning from My Father reflects movingly on life and death, faith and doubt, as seen through the eyes of a father and a son.

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About the Author:

David Lawther Johnson, a longtime business leader and lawyer, is president and CEO of BioCrossroads, a collaborative enterprise supporting initiatives in science and biotechnology in the state of Indiana.

Review:

Walter Isaacson
-- Author of Steve Jobs
"This beautiful book provides a way to look at the most important questions in life. It is a guide to understanding faith and love, meaning and belief. . . . An inspiring work."

Mitch Daniels
-- Governor of Indiana
"In a nation with tragically too few fathers, David Johnson had a great one, whose wisdom and grace he now generously shares with us. There is a saying, 'When an old person dies, a library closes.' This book opens a rich library in which the reader will want to browse often."

E. J. Dionne Jr.
-- Author of Our Divided Political Heart
"Learning from My Father is, quite simply, a beautiful book -- eloquent, deeply moving, quietly passionate, and wise. At a moment when we seem eager to divide ourselves between an 'us' and a 'them,' Johnson speaks across the lines of ideology and faith traditions to a human and humane 'we.' Marrying his father's lessons to his own reflections, he reminds us that Christianity is not about ideological conflict or cultural mistrust. It calls us to attentiveness, responsibility, joy, and love. In offering this gift to his father, Johnson has gifted all of us."

Krista Tippett
-- Host and producer of On Being, American Public Media
"This book models a faith both devout and questioning, full-blooded and elegant. It is at once an affirmation of tradition and a call to trust the vitality of the tradition to meet all the complexity of unfolding life in this world."

John C. Lechleiter
-- Chairman, President, and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company
"In Learning from My Father David Johnson shares with all of us a unique gift he received from his own father. His eight lessons touch on challenges all believers face, and his compelling dialogue with his father, along with his own life story, shines a bright light on what it means to be Christian and how we as Christians must understand our calling."

Richard J. Mouw
-- President, Fuller Theological Seminary
"In writing this marvelous tribute to his father, David Johnson has also given us a gift. This little book imparts much wisdom and inspiration!"

Thomas G. Long
-- Emory University
"In this beautifully written memoir David Lawther Johnson reveals not only profound lessons he learned from his father but also deep wisdom for all of us about living courageous and faithful lives. To read this book is to reflect about what truly matters in our closest relationships and in the ways we number our days."

Daniel F. Evans
-- President and CEO, Indiana University Health
"Parent and child interacting profoundly in life and death. A familial faith journey captured in precious letters back and forth. Questions of faith become doorways to grace as told in this marvelous exchange between parent and child. Grace passed from one generation to the next may, in fact, be the greatest gift."

Craig Dykstra
-- Senior Vice President, Religion, Lilly Endowment Inc.
"In this rare and wonderful book Johnson invites all of us to think deeply about what it means to live the Christian life. Read it alone and be enriched. Read it with others and let it deepen your conversations. Read it with your young adult daughters and sons and begin a correspondence of your own. This is a very special book by an unusually thoughtful Christian layperson and a dear friend."

Presbyterian Outlook 
“This is a quite beautiful memoir of a lawyer, business leader and person of faith who pays tribute to his father. . . . Pastors should put this beautiful memoir in the hands of their young parents to remind them of their deepest calling.”
 
CBA Retailer + Resources
“Inspiring and honest.”
 
Spirit & Life 
“Even though serious subjects are covered in this book, it is informal, approachable, and marked by the love and response David and his father had for each other. It is enjoyable and profitable reading.”
 
The Lamplighter 
“Engaging, funny and serious book. . . . Written clearly, honestly and openly, it is a book we can refer to when searching for answers to life’s difficult questions.”
 
Congregational Libraries Today 
“An engaging look at one man’s Christianity. . . . A worthwhile read.”

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