"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jesus Swagger, by Jarrid Wilson

Jesus Swagger: Break Free from Poser Christianity is probably a good book for brand-new Christians who are looking to become something more than Sunday Morning Christians.  The book's premise is the importance of living a Christ-like life at all times, not just for an hour on the weekend.  And the author gives us several ideas for how to do that in his own trendy writing style that will probably appeal to many younger Christians.  This message is a good one - after all, a true Christian life is led both inside and outside the church.

However, beyond anything that might help a new Christian think outside the box, I believe readers should exercise caution with this book.  First of all, it doesn't matter what urban dictionary definition of "swagger" the author chooses to use, the term has a negative connotation among most of our society.  It reduces our Lord and Savior to a bit of hipster slang.  And that's pretty rich coming from an author who criticizes the "Jesus is my homeboy" movement as being disrespectful to Christ.  I see no difference between that "#JesusSwagger."  The Bible tells us repeatedly to approach God in worship with "reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28, among others).  There is no reverence in this term.  It's a marketing gimmick, plain and simple.

I also take issue with the fact that while the author says once that church worship is still a good thing, the book tends to negate that statement.  A quotation that is particularly bothersome is, "Worshiping during church service is great, but worshiping outside of that element is even greater."  Can we really put one over the other?  Such a statement ignores the significance of listening to an educated pastor explain the true meaning of the Bible.  I can go out into the streets and preach to the masses all I want, but that is worthless if I have not myself taken the time to learn from a good teacher, or to surround myself with mature believers who will challenge me if I am wrong in my teachings.  And every Christian needs to know that, from the new believer to the seasoned pastor.  It is troubling that the two ways of worship are not given equal importance.

However, as I've stated above, I do think this book would be good for brand-new Christians to give them ideas of how to live their faith outside of church.  I also very much agree with the author's stance that churches need to stop making membership growth their main focus.  

The author has good intentions, but I believe there are better books on this topic.  This one is just a good introduction.

Two out of Five Stars

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.