Book Review: Dallas and the Spitfire

Dallas and the Spitfire: An Old Car, An Ex-con, and An Unlikely Friendship

By Ted Kluck and Dallas Jahncke (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Book Review: Dallas and the Spitfire
With a sordid past and running out of options, ex-con and former addict Dallas Jahncke acquiesces to enter a drug rehabilitation program at a homeless shelter, one with a Christian perspective. In addition to avoiding more jail time and becoming clean for the first time in years, Dallas also has an encounter with Jesus. To aid him on his journey, Ted Kluck is recruited to provide some ‘discipleship” – whatever that means.

Thirty-something Ted and twenty-something Dallas are about as unlikely a pair as imaginable. They emanate from different backgrounds, neighborhoods, social strata, and experiences. Yet the two of them collaborate in life – and for this book, Dallas and the Spitfire: An Old Car, an Ex-con, and an Unlikely Friendship.

Discipleship, Ted discovers, is raw and unpredictable. Sitting in a coffee shop to pontificate faith or reading a book about God is not going to cut it. Dallas needs more. Dallas needs a friend and a mentor; he needs acceptance and stability; he needs someone who will listen without judging, answer the phone at any hour, and pray at all times.

For their discipleship to work, they need an activity to do. So Ted buys an aging European sports car, a Triumph Spitfire, for them to coax back to life. As Dallas teaches Ted about auto repair, Ted shows Dallas how to be a follower of Jesus.

Written as memoir, Ted’s story is interspersed with Dallas’s own words. The tale is gritty and honest. It’s a guy’s book about a guy’s world, avoiding pat answers or reducing discipleship to a methodology. The result is a compelling read and an inspiring example. Truly discipling another person is not easy, but it is most rewarding.

Read Dallas and the Spitfire to vicariously live it – and then do it, if you dare.

[Dallas and the Spitfire: An Old Car, an Ex-con, and an Unlikely Friendship, by Ted Kluck and Dallas Jahncke. Published by Bethany House. 2012; ISBN: 978-0-7642-0961-1; 184 pages.]

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