Beautiful Outlaw Experiencing the Playful Disruptive Extravagant Personality of Jesus go inside Ebook John Eldredge has been an incredible influence on both me personally and on my ministry
Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus go inside Ebook John Eldredge has been an incredible influence on both me personally and on my ministry. Wild at Heart and Waking the Dead are two of the most powerful books I've ever read. I use both regularly in my teaching and have encouraged many other people to read them. While his others books aren't quite on the level of those two, I consider most of what he's done (while a bit repetitive at times) to be excellent and highly recommended.In some ways Beautiful Outlaw continues that trend. There are parts of the book that are vintage Eldredge. Unfortunately, there are also some glaring theological issues throughout. I understand that Eldredge is neither a theologian or a scholar. I don't expect him to be. But he is someone who has devoted his life to ministry and teaching the Word. Theologian or not, that makes him accountable to a higher standard. Much of the error in this book is simply not acceptable for someone in his position. Let me start with the good. I found much of the book to be a very refreshing read. Eldredge brilliantly presents the human side of Jesus and shows how his personality shines through the Gospels in ways that we often miss. He also stresses the personal side of faith, something that's too easily forgotten when studying theology. As such, the book was a very important reminder to me to not let go of that side of my faith. I say reminder because for anyone who's read Eldredge before that's what it will be. There's not a ton of new ideas from him here. While it's helpful to see them presented in this context, it would be nice to see him stretch himself a bit more as a teacher and writer. That aside, the material is powerful and important.Unfortunately, that's not the whole story. My biggest complaint with the book is Eldredge's use of the word "religion" According to him religion is what's wrong with modern Christianity. He never defines his term and it quickly becomes apparent that religion is a straw man he's constructed to project onto anything he doesn't like about how other people do church. This on it's own is obnoxious, especially to those of us who find religion (despite all the ways it has been corrupted) to be a beautiful and powerful part of our faith, one that brings us closer to God. But what really takes the book down is the way Eldredge projects his vague understanding of religion back onto Scripture. He assumes that Jesus was confronting the exact problems that he, as a 21st century Christian, is. At best this is an eye-rolling, hermeneutical error. At worst it's a serious theological error in need of rebuking and correction. The heremneutical problems don't stop there. Eldredge is determined to draw out the personality of Jesus in Scripture. At times this is done brilliantly. Other times, it's bizarre and problematic. He quotes Matthew 15:22-28 where Jesus metaphorically refers to a Canaanite woman as a dog. It's a confusing and troubling passage and one that deserves serious thought if we're to understand it. Eldredge's answer is to tell us to not bother looking for any deep spiritual truth here. Jesus is just being playful. Ok, maybe. But where's the textual evidence to back up that claim? It's a nice thought but it's completely unsupported by Scripture. I don't think Eldredge realizes how serious an error he's committing with claims like that. On the surface it seems like a small thing, but what he's doing is projecting his view of Jesus onto the text rather than allowing God to speak to him through the text. Without intending to, Eldredge has undermined the authority of Scripture in a very serious way. It's clear throughout the book that he is in desperate need of a hermeneutics class or two. The other major issue with the book is the way that Eldredge allows no room for reverence of God or a recognition of his transcendence. He's determined to present Jesus in a highly personal, highly relatable light. He does a great job and what he presents is important. But the fact that he does away with any sort of reverence for God is very troubling. There is a place to come before God as Father, speak to him personally and experience the rich personality Eldredge describes. There is also a place to come before him in awe, recognizing his greatness and holiness. Both are taught by Scripture. Both are necessary for a complete faith. Both draw us closer to God and help us become who he wants us to be. The other side effect of Eldredge's highly personal presentation is that he winds up with a frighteningly low ecclesiology. At one point he briefly affirms that going to church is important, both those words ring hollow compared to the rest of the book. He spends a lot of time attacking the church and winds up a faith that is very much "just me and Jesus." I find this incredibly problematic and unbiblical. I believe that Scripture quite clearly teaches that we find that personal relationship with God only within God's covenant family. The church is not a nice add on as Eldredge presents it. It is essential. There are a couple other minor problems with the book. First, it's not very Trinitarian. Eldredge frequently confuses the different persons and roles of the Trinity, which is a bit shocking considering this has been a strength of his in previous work. Second, his instance on The Message as a legitimate (and at times superior) Bible translation is pretty disturbing. I'm fine with people reading The Message but it's simply inaccurate to consider it a translation. It's not. It's a loose paraphrase that is really Eugene Peterson's interpretation of Scripture rather than Scripture itself. If that's understood by the people reading it, I have no problem. Eldredge clearly fails to understand this and winds up presenting it in a way that will lead other people astray. At the end of the day, I'm glad I read the book. I admire Eldredge and will always owe him a huge debt of gratitude. It makes me sad to see the direction his work is headed in. I know God is continuing to use him powerfully, but he could be used for so much more if he would only get himself some proper theological training and correct some of these issues. This could have been a great book. Instead it's merely a good one with enough theological holes to make it difficult to recommend. 2.5 stars. Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus He was accused of breaking the law, kReading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking Of being the devil himself He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him But others loved him passionately He had a sense of humor His generosity was scandalous His anger made enemies tremble He d say the most outrageous things He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass In the author s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, just as he set masculinity free in his book, Wild at Heart By uncovering the real Jesus, readers are welcomed into the rich emotional life of Christ All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity Eldredge goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day This book will quicken readers worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus.. Popular Book Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus If I could give 6 stars I would. This may be the most impactful book--outside of the Bible--that I have read. It's a book about the personality of Jesus.If you're looking for theology principles, like how God could become man or the Trinity, this isn't where you would get that. There are many fine books for that. This is about the personality--the character qualities and values of the person of Jesus. It's about his playfulness, his ferocity, his wild disregard for looking "proper", and his cunning.It's biblically grounded with many, many passages included word for word. It's full of vulnerable stories from the author. There's humor all throughout. And there are challenging sections that made me stop and pray right there.I've ready a lot of books about Jesus. I've taught a lot about Jesus. More importantly, I have a personal relationship with Jesus. And this book added depth and clarity to how I see Jesus. I finished this book understanding and loving Him more than I have ever before (and that's saying something).I can't think of a more impacted book I've read, outside of the Bible. Loving and truly knowing Jesus--having His life pour into me and through me--is the most important thing I can do with my life. This book inspired me to do that more powerfully than any other I have read. I think EVERYONE should read this book.