I just recently finished The Briarpatch Gospel: Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! It definitely took me out of my comfort zone, because there are portions of the book that I don’t completely agree with, but overall I thought that it was very well written and made me question why I believe certain things and also the future of the church.
I think that it is an interesting experiment to put yourself out into the world the way that Shayne spoke of in his book. He really challenges you to think about how you receive people in church, how you need to love them even if there is blatant sin evident in their lives. The question “are you sinless” continued to be revealed to me.
One of my favorite quotes happened early on in the book, and really set the stage as to how I would finish reading the book.
“I am convinced that the reason most people avoid our communities of faith – where Jesus can be discovered and known – is not the preaching, music, liturgy, or lack of programs. It is because of our own corporate self-protection and judgmental attitudes toward anyone who does not look, act, or believe like us. We are unwilling to take the risk of following Jesus into the briarpatch of welcoming and embracing our friends who don’t fit, for whatever reason, into the refined and genteel Christian subculture.” p-35
I see a lot of judgement in church these days, and it is sad. We all have to remember that we are all sinners, we all need Jesus. The church seems to be the judge of what is right and wrong, what is more sinful, but considering that God says in the Bible that all sin is the same I think that it is something we, as Christians need to re-evaluate. Everyone is looking for acceptance somewhere, and if we exclude them from church based on how they appear, or what they may or may not be doing, how is that showing God’s love?
It was a very interesting read. And because of that, I would love to share it with one of my readers. If you would like a chance to win this book, please leave a comment below! US residents only please 🙂
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in return for a review. The opinions are my own.
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