November 2012


When I was in college and we were told we had to write a five page paper, it made me nervous. When it was a twenty page paper, I’d be in panic mode. “Twenty pages! That’s just cruel.” Never in my dreams did I think I could write enough to fill twenty pages. So when the publisher gave me the full page count that has been written in Resisting Grace as 290 (that includes the preface and title page, the page number is only around 265) I was in one of those moments that spoke volumes as to how I have changed. From a young man that struggled putting thoughts into words that would fill one page to an author of an entire  book. And I felt there was still more that could have been written! I fully acknowledge it is the product of a long walk that at this point has been going on over thirty-eight years. It all started the day I met the One who made the world, sustained the world and saves the world. He is the one who not only cares for the universe but also is deeply involved with those who will accept the invitation to walk with Him.
I hope you are not intimidated by the number of pages in this book but eager to understand more how He goes about working in your life. My deepest longing for Resisting Grace is that it will provide such insight for His good work in you and therefore give you hope in the journey.

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Having been in ministry for over thirty years, I sought to understand helping people (and myself!) change and understand God’s Grace in bringing about transformation. There are many books out there on grace. Jon’s book is different. He has helped unpack the work of grace and answers the question “God, what are you doing to me?” with clarity and compassion. His stages of grace are extremely helpful as guideposts in reflecting on the work of God in us.

Dave Corlew
Senior Pastor, Arlington Countryside Church,

This powerful work is a convergence of rich insights from Biblical reflections, from a keen cultural analysis of Asian American experiences and from decades of professional counseling experiences.  Over the years, Jon’s counseling ministry and teachings have significantly impacted many Asian Americans; I am so glad that his rich integrative insights will now be available to the broader community through this fine book.

Peter Cha
Associate Professor Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary
Editor Growing Healthy Asian American Churches

Resisting Grace isn’t a quick read of 10 things to know about grace. It asks readers to slow down, to reflect, to listen, to pray, and to receive change, to be healed, and to be whole – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically integrated. Warden welcomes us into his journey as a Christ-follower who is also Asian American, a husband, a father, a counselor, and a friend, weaving together personal stories, poetry, theology, and practical diagrams into an engaging and thoughtful book. Warden doesn’t preach in his book. His gifts as a counselor transfer into his writing as he sets a safe but challenging tone that left me wanting to live “a life that cannot be explained by me”. Read it alone, or better yet read it with a group!

Kathy Khang
Regional multiethnic director with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and blogger with Sojourners “Emerging Voices” Project

As the opening day draws near, I thought I post some of the reviews these next couple weeks. Here is the first.

Fantastic book. It gave me much insight into my own spiritual journey. Don’t let the title fool you.  Resisting Grace is not only about the roadblocks we place between ourselves and God, it is about the power of His grace to overcome our resistance and transform us from within.  I have read many books on the topic of grace but this one is unique in that it delves into process of God’s grace in our lives.  With his years of experience as a Christian counselor, speaker, and discipler, Jon gives us deep insights into how God’s grace transforms the inner person all the way from the head to the heart.  Reading this book has caused me to look at my own “resistances” and look to the transcending grace that lies beyond my places of brokenness.

Dr Bob Shim
Medical Missionary Covenant World Missions

I was told I need a thirty second response to what the book is about, a five minute response and a half an hour response. Here is my attempt at a thirty second snapshot:

“The secret of transformation is knowing and experiencing His Grace. It is knowing what it is and how it operates within us. It is experiencing it deeply in our daily lives. What hinders it is our resistance. We resist knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. Understanding what is our resistance and why we resist is the starting place to cooperating with grace and being able to do the dance of transformed living.”

As I post this I sent my review corrections of the manuscript to the publisher. We shouldn’t be bantering much longer. Out in early December if the rest goes smoothly.

Today I kind of feel like the marathon runner who is able to see the finish line and hoping I don’t get a cramp along the last mile up the hill. The publisher’s project team for Resisting Grace is completing the layout of the whole book. We went back and forth tweeking the layout as I reviewed the mock drafts they sent me. As usual I short-sighted the amount of time needed for this process to happen. But we finally reached agreement and they went to work on the whole book. Once they got the number of pages down, I will send them the cover design (front and back). Exact page number is necessary in preparing the cover.

Now that it is so close to being made public I am scared. I looked over some of the pages and realized again how personal this is to me. I share my story in the midst of sharing my spiritual and psychological view on transformation of the soul. It is far more than a very large thesis, it is what I believe God had been leading me in whether in doing ministry to others or in His deep work of shaping my inner man.

In the book there are these call outs in the chapters. I reread one and thought, “Wow. I really place my guts out there.” I am not an exhibitionist but I have come to realize truth is passed on by honest words from the heart not carefully construed paradigms from my head.  My mind and my heart are poured into this work. That makes me feel vulnerable.

So I return again to Him who is my refuge and find comfort under His wings.

May you be honored my Savior by this modest work.

addendum: Today (11/15/12) they have sent me the finished layout. My wife is sitting down and completing the cover as I write this. Once that is sent in, they send me a hardcopy to review. Upon my approval it goes out into the world of published books.