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I chose this book to review because I thoroughly agree with the metaphor: our own lives carry the message of Christ to all, better than any sermon. Dukes’s message in the book is that the church has to be more than Sunday morning worship (which others have said), but even more, that it has to go beyond other forms to which we have restricted church and religion, and into the function of living sent.
I found the first part of the book frustrating to read. Much of it is philosophical, biblically-based explanation rather than real-life stories. I’m familiar with the Bible passages and explanations already. It might be different for someone who isn’t; but it’s hard for me to see it through that lens.
There’s one chapter at the end packed with stories of real people who are living sent. I would have liked to see these stories fleshed out more and included throughout the book, rather than being crammed into one chapter.
The PS for pastors and other church leaders is, in my opinion, the best part of the book! It’s snarky, practical and to the point.
In summary, I wholeheartedly agree with what the book says, but wish there were more emphasis on detailed real-life stories.
The cover art slyly references these two passages in the postal markings:
John 20:21 (The Message): Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
2 Corinthians 3:3 (The Message): Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.
Disclaimers: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. Links to Amazon are affiliate links; I get a small commission if you purchase through my links.
In Newsweek’s recent Interview Issue, comedian and talk show host Bill Maher commented that the focus of Christianity is “saving your own ass.”
Newsweek reader Tom Brady then wrote in to refute this, saying that “Christianity’s focus includes feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, welcoming the despised, and sometimes risking one’s life to speak truth to power.” Brady also says that Maher’s statement shows “an appalling ignorance of authentic faith.”
Yes. But I’d also say it shows that there are appallingly few Christians publicly demonstrating this authentic faith. Maher, and many others, have only seen the Christians whose first concern is “have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.”
So which Christianity do you think is likely to attract more disciples?