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Friday, March 27, 2015

Jesus Outside the Lines

Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls is "a way forward for those who are tired of taking sides."
We are being forced to take sides on whatever the popular issue of the day is--whether it is health care or marriage, whether it's a scientific worldview or a religious one. Polarizing us-versus-them discussions dominate Twitter, seeking to divide us. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is tired of the bickering--and he is weary of the Jesus he loves being forced into the ideological boxes of our day. "Jesus Outside the Lines" presents Jesus the way he is: someone who doesn't fit into our culture's categories. 

I found this book to be perfect and riveting. I nodded my head at a lot and took notes. Christians, as noted in this book, are often viewed as "anti" towards several important issues in today's culture. Anti-divorce, anti-gay, anti-choice, and so on. Yet Jesus is filled with love and His people should be as well. This isn't about taking sides, this is about being more Christ-like. 

Some paragraphs that hit home with me were

"For Jesus, just as was the case for Martin Luther King Jr., "There are no gradations in the image of God." In other words, in Jesus' eyes there is no such thing as one type of person who is more special than another type of person. A crying infant is as significant and valuable as a famous actor, a homeless person as a president, a student as a teacher, a private as a general, a concessions worker as a quarterback, a patient as a surgeon, and a janitor as a CEO." 

"I dream of a day, hopefully soon, when Gandhi sympathizers will begin saying, "I like your Christ and I like your Christians," not because we Christians have ceased to be hypocrites, but because we have become increasingly endearing in and honest and sad about our hypocrisy. There is something incredibly attractive and inviting about people who stop pointing fingers and posing and pretending to be totally good and totally right, and instead start taking themselves less seriously and openly and freely admit that they are not yet what they should be."

"I love how Anne Lamott said that it's okay to realize you're very crazy and very damaged, because all the best people are. I love this because it is in seeing and owning that we are crazy and damaged, it is in crying "uncle" to our failed self-reformation projects, it is in recognizing that we are most certainly "so unlike our Christ" - that Christ begins to change us. It is when we become tired of ourselves, weary of our own failed efforts, that Jesus meets us with hope."

Basically, it boils down to the fact that Christians should not be judged for not being perfect just as Christians should not judge others for the same reason. This book teaches us how to see with the eyes of Jesus and how to bring people to Him, not push them away. This is going on my shelves to be read over again (very few books make it onto my shelves, so this is a high mark!).

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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