I recently got a copy of Jesus Brand Spirituality, a book by Ken Wilson, which came out in May. Anyone who knows me well knows I love reading, but I read so much, I really only skim books to find nuggets that will stick with me.
This book, however, had me sucked in from the first couple of pages. Technically, it had me sucked in from the title. Last weekend, I read it in about three hours and highlighted/underlined so many things in it.
I should also say that nobody asked me or paid me to review this book…this is straight up out of my own felt need to share this book with you and express that I think it is one of the most important books any church leader or believer could read.
With that said, here are some nuggets:
- We can only hope Jesus will continue to challenge every effort to hijack his brand, because he is, and always will be, the main attraction.
- Jesus invited curious onlookers to help him do what he was already doing so that his actions would have greater impact…there were no faith quizzes to pass before you could help out; all it took was the willingness to go somewhere with Jesus because you liked what he was doing.
- Jesus was a mystic who prayed with his eyes open
- The Roman Empire embraced Christian faith as the state-sanctioned religion. This in turn gave birth to the monastic movement as devout individuals sought a more spiritually enlivened form of faith, removed from the trappings of the empire (*my thought: we are on the cusp of this again, with people getting worn out from “trappings of the empire” and are longing for a deeper, more Christ-like faith
- Since religion can both illuminate and obscure Jesus, sometimes we need to dig to find him. A good place to dig is the gospels. Here, we find Jesus on a mission from god to repair the world. In his glance, we catch an invitation for us to join him.
- Caring for the most vulnerable isn’t a matter of compassion alone; it’s a demand of justice and the true sign of religion.
- As we engage with the realities that engaged Jesus’ attention, we are more likely to encounter him.
- The gospel is a message with personal, social, and global reach. If it’s not good news at all these levels, it’s not good enough.
- Have we front-loaded people with so many matters of belief that we are, in effect, asking them to swallow the whole package as a pre-requisite for a meaningful engagement with Jesus?
- As a result of our long and productive love affair with rationalism, we tend to suffer from an anemic view of what we call “spiritual experience.”
Anything resonate with you?