Cover Image: A More Christlike Way - A More Beautiful Faith

A More Christlike Way - A More Beautiful Faith

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was originally interested in reading this book for two reasons 1) to learn to lead a more Christ centered life. I believe that in my heart that whatever is wrong with this world- so much meanness and anger, that Jesus must be the answer. I found myself wondering what ever happened to the WWJD ( what would Jesus do) bracelets that everyone was wearing a few decades ago.  and 2) Confession time: to use it’s info as ammo to beat “conservatives” over the head for their support and condoning unchristian like behavior of our countries leaders - separating children from their parents, answering mass shooting with thoughts and prayers instead of legislation, writing policies that make the wealthy even richer, while the working poor chose between food and a place to live etc.

First, the author really resonated with me as he makes a clear definition between what is today called Christian and the term “Christ-follower,” which he defines “those who follow (or intend to) the Jesus Way as lived and taught by Jesus Christ. By that definition, not all Christians are Christ-followers and not all Christ followers are Christians. Gandhi was a Hindu, not a Christian. But given his devotion to following the Jesus Way of the Sermon on the Mount, he was arguably a Christ-follower. So too are many millions of Muslims today. This doesn’t mean that Muslims and Christians agree. It’s just that many have come to love and follow Jesus, their orthodoxy notwithstanding”.  

He then goes on to discuss some of the false idols the church has built today to justifying it moving ever further away from the teaching of Jesus. He calls then the four fraudulent faiths •Moralism—puritanical religion •Partisan Amoralism—politicized faith •Retributive Factionalism—culture wars ideology •Nationalism and Civil Religion—clan and country. 
Everything rang true to me. See this is what I see, people calling themselves Christians, who are anything but.

However, a few chapters in the finger was pointed at me- I was not living the life Christ asks.
   “If someone says, ‘I love God’, but hates their brother or sister, that person is a liar. Someone who doesn’t love a brother or sister whom they have seen, how can they love God, whom they haven’t seen?”(1 Jn. 4:20).” Hmmm perhaps I judge too much.

There is a warning about “ otherness” that is exactly opposite of what Jesus wants- and how we all like to comfortably separate ourselves from those who are different.
“ Do you feel more at home with the squeaky-clean folks of good reputation? Or with those on the messy margins? Do you rub shoulders more easily with the up-and-comer or the down-and-outer? Do you relate better to the religious elder or the rebellious sibling? Either way, how might we make space for all those who feel most “other” to us?” 

So, for me to follow his example it’s not about me embracing gay people, or the homeless, (I already do that easily) Its about me inviting people I despise ( Rupert Murdoch and Mitch McConnell)  and those that actually wish to do me harm- to my table and loving them. Not making nice to their faces but actually loving them. Sheesh. 
When Jesus said pick up the cross and follow me, he didn’t say it would be easy. The author gives numerous examples of how difficult it can be to learn to love our enemies- whether it be internet trolls out to ruin a life, or Islamic terrorists. Hate breeds hate and can only continue to escalate. It’s only though love can we make the world a better place.

In summary, while reading this book I highlighted over 300 passages. This book touched me and enlightened me more than I hoped. It is beautifully written and speaks directly to my heart. Highly recommend for those want to let go of anger and bring in love.
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