Month: June 2012

Review – The Gospel According to Jesus

The book centres itself at least in my perspective around the term “shalom.” Chris Seay uses this term to describe this state of restored relationship with God and with those around us. For the author are all called to live in and embrace others in shalom and help others find shalom in their own lives.

The gospel is the good news that God is calling out all people to be redeemed by the power residing in the life, death, and ultimate resurrection of Jesus the Liberating King. These ‘called-out ones’ are rescued from a life of slavery, sin, and failure to become emissaries in a new kingdom set to join the redemption of the entire creation, groaning and longing to be redeemed. 49

I really did enjoy this book and I found that it did challenge me in my faith and how I live it out everyday. However, that being said I found it to be a difficult read as I found myself losing interest at times. I found that odd because it was not as if it was not helpful, or interesting, I just found that it was a book that you would read a bit and then set it down to think over the challenges that were laid before you through the words of the author.

Chris Seay is attempting to right a misunderstanding between understanding the true meaning and actions that define a righteousness. The conversation and I would say the conclusion that Seay came to is that the majority of church going individuals define righteousness through their understanding of morality and not through the message of the gospels.

The best simple translation of the word righteousness is ‘restorative justice.’ God is stepping into our brokenness and making things right, taking fragments shattered by sin and restoring them to fullness. The reality is that God is calling us to take part in his glory, which comes from heaven to earth, and to live in his abundance, together. Seeking his righteousness is about being an active agent for his restorative justice in all of creation. 12

I will say that I did lose most of my interest at the end of every chapter when their was a manuscript of an interview between one or two individuals and the author. At first I liked the premise of this idea, but I found that they did not provide the necessary ah ha moments for me that I hoped a practical discussion around the chapter would have provided.

I really enjoyed the discussion on how we can jump the gun and call things of this world, or individuals evil without thinking through what the connotations of that statement really represent in the eyes of God.

Modern Christians have taken a previously integrated world and subdivided it into the sacred or secular, physical or spiritual, good or bad, profane or religious—categories that do not serve us well because they are simply untrue. God created the physical, and that makes it uniquely spiritual. The so-called “bad people” are also created in the image of God. 146

The author wants the reader to imagine seeing people as “shalom” or “broken shalom” rather than good or bad. If you see them as broken shalom, you’re not allowed to look down on them; instead, you are called to join God in his redemptive work in their lives.

I would not say this is a must read. I probably would not have read it if I had not heard him speak at a conference I attended, but I wanted to go deeper into his ideas of righteousness and shalom.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Vision Casting Call-Out from The Art Of Possibility by Pete Wilson

I love this leadership quote from Pete Wilson in one of his recent blog posts.

 They need you to define reality, but they also need you to practice the art of possibility.Everyone in the room knows the cards are stacked against your team.Everyone in the room realizes they don’t have enough resources to pull this off.Everyone in the room understands they totally blew that lost opportunity.They need not be reminded of what is likely, apparent, or impending for those things are obvious to the average person. They need to be reminded of what they cannot see on their own. They need to be reminded of what just might happen against all odds.

via The Art Of Possibility | WithoutWax.tv by Pete Wilson.

In a season when I am getting ready to launch a jr. high leadership camp I am wrestling with how to portray my vision of the camp goals to the staff at our camp. This quote reminded me that vision casting and dreaming are a big part of my role at camp. As a leader I need to see where the camp can go.

Writing curriculum is exciting for me and I see my dreams grow for these students that I will get to engage with daily.

Goal #1 for this week is to do exactly what Pete Wilson says, “They need to be reminded of what they cannot see on their own.”