Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unleashed by Erwin Raphael McManus
A challenge is presented to all Christians to approach their faith in a way that mirrors the times of the Bible. It’s a challenge to not live out a faith in a life of ease and comfort, but to live faith out in the ways that are so far from tradition that it’s barbaric. I like it; it’s short sweet and to the point. But I think the message of the book is really the part that I struggle with the most. It is not that I don’t completely agree with what McMannus is saying.  I do, Christians have become civilized and religious with their relationship. But, I can’t help thinking that maybe he missed something in his attempt to show us that there is another way to live out our faith.  We all have our own ideas of radical, our own ideas of barbarism. Maybe we don’t face our fears by leaving our security to pursue our dreams in Nashville as his daughter did, or to go on missions overseas or at home.  Maybe we don’t all have the guts to become a public speaker and proclaim the good news. And maybe religion makes sense to us, because what others may see as rituals and going through the motions is really our way of walking out our faith.
Yes, Jesus walked away from his life as a carpenter to fulfill his divine purpose. Yes, he called out to people asking them to follow him. Yes, he came and turned our worlds completely upside down, he challenged the norms of his times and of our own. But the beauty of having a personal God is that we reflect him through our faith, we show the world how we see God. For some that may be more civilized and for others it may be barbaric.  God doesn’t change, He never has and He never will. But we will; we are constantly changing. As will our reflection of God and who we see him as. John the Baptist didn’t see Jesus the same way that Mary Magdalene did. When Peter and Thomas looked at Jesus they saw the same man before them, but they didn’t see the same God. And it is all of these different perceptions of God that brings out all of His personality and characteristics.  I think that above all, that’s kind of the point.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Booksneeze book bloggers program.  I am under no obligation to write a positive review. 

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