JEN'S MUST READS: Part 1
by Jen Hatmaker on July 16th, 2012

People ask me all the time: “How do maintain such order and balanced systems in your life and home?” No, wait. That’s not right. It’s this: “Please tell me your secrets for being an amazing, creative Classroom Mom.” Darn it. I keep getting confused. Oh yeah! This is what they actually ask:

“What are you reading that is moving you right now?”

Okay, this. If you’ve been around me for half a second, you probably know that I gravitate to books that shake crap up. Christian platitudes, thematic clichés, soft fluffy gospel writing…I’d rather stick freshly sharpened pencils into my calf meat. Give me something strong, something difficult and true, something to raise a little hell. I don’t like books that go down like butter; I like them full of shards and rough edges. I like them to push like a bully and make me wince with the truth of it all. I appreciate courageous writing so much.

I like to be stretched.

So this week, I’m going to share with you three books I’ve recently read that unlocked something deep within and left me alternatively cheering out loud and trying to creatively distance myself from their messages and shirk obedience. These are complete with giveaways and everything. It’s almost like I’m a real blogger.

First up:

Sacrilege: Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus
Hugh Halter
If you read Interrupted, you might remember that I quoted Hugh’s book The Tangible Kingdom approximately 359 times. At the time, we didn’t know Hugh, only the unconventional, razor-sharp, devil-be-damned way he talked about Jesus, community, and living on mission in such a way that people might actually be attracted to Jesus rather than repelled by the ungracious, unappealing, unChristlike way we represent Him. It literally turned our world upside-down and is still the material we use to disciple our people through missional community at ANC.

So we did what we do best: tracked him down in real life and made him be ours. The Hatmakers and Halters are all tangled up now in ministry and friendship; we just sat on their back patio in Denver two weeks ago and ate grilled bison and quinoa, and I daresay we solved nearly 68% of all the earth’s problems.
Our books are next to each in Barnes and Noble. Halter/Hatmaker. DESTINY.


But I digress. After reading The Tangible Kingdom, we received the language we needed for creating strong missional community. But after reading Sacrilege, I realized this was an instrument for bringing the disenfranchised, the church wounded, the cynical and angry, and the repelled back to Jesus. This wasn’t just a book to put in the hands of a church leader; this was a healing tool for everyone who cannot for the life of them figure out what is “good” about our Good News.

I’d love for you to peek at how Hugh talks about faith and Jesus, because it is utterly liberating and refreshing, so I asked him a few questions and used our friendship as leverage to make him answer:

I like how you try to get in trouble right away. Why did you title the book  ‘Sacrilege’?

Simply put, it just means to remove religion from something or to tear away what some people might think is religious. Sacrilege isn't about defiling, defaming, or profaning anything good. But it is about stripping away anything that hides the real deal, the real Jesus, and the real story of the Gospel and kingdom living.  I personally think the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity.

You’ve carved out a strong niche writing for church leaders. Why did you decide to write a book for “non-leaders”?

To be a bit crass, I think non-leaders are the new leaders.  And unpaid saints are much better positioned to affect the lives of real people than the pros.  As I have assessed the landscape of the lives of pastors, incarnational living seems to be quite elusive from those whose calling is to lead the church.  The peasants, the plumbers, and baristas and bar managers can easily take the sacrilegious way of Jesus and make it their own … starting tomorrow! 

I love the way you talk about Jesus. If you had to pick one, what lesson do you think most American believers need to rediscover about the unorthodox ways of Jesus?

I'm not sure if this is the main one, but the characteristic that I love the most is "meekness."  Jesus teaches that this one, crazy little "istic" about our lives is actually what wins the hearts of our friends, our kids, and those we care about. Anything north of meekness is just religion and people can't stand it or stand for it.

The beatitudes are my absolute favorite. Why did you use them as the scaffolding for the book?

That's where Jesus started when he began to try to re-orient religious people toward an entirely new faith system he called the Kingdom of God.   As each chapter takes a beatitude, and then shows the sacrilegious alternative to religiosity, I hope to also give people an angle that will challenge and release them into true incarnational living.  I also wanted people to know that the Bible gives them permission to be with, love, accept, and befriend sinners; that the Bible gives them freedom to enjoy life and embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith.  

So freeing, Hugh. People expect that you'd probably tip a few sacred cows over.  Which ones do you think you'll take the most heat for?

For sure it would be the chapter where I address the Sunday practice of communion, or the Lord’s Supper.  I suggest that Jesus never intended for the Eucharist to become an institution of the church available only for insiders. The symbolic act of “remembering him” is actually MORE IMPORTANT to Jesus than it naturally becomes when you administer it with the common practices of exclusion, judgment on the heart of someone in the crowd, or professional clergy controlling who gets to receive it.  

The Table of the Lord has become another ‘false” line in the sand instead of what was truly intended to be…that of an invitation to eat with Jesus and experience his mercy.  Three publishers said no to this book though they agreed with my biblical and historical sketch. They simply didn’t want to take the heat from retailers.  I do want to add my view to the overall discussion of how Jesus would treat those not in the club because I think it’s central to His larger call.  I’m proud of Baker Publishing for letting the honest discussion come out.

Who should read this book? 

I’m not sure I would just hand it out to everyone.  It's sort of like a brand new pair of scissors.  It’s not safe for elementary users but could be highly practical for those in our congregations that are ready to engage the world like Jesus did.  I'd give it to small groups who are trying to become missional communities, I would give it to all church planters, I would give it to all pastors, elders or anyone setting vision for a church.  AND I would give it away like candy in at Halloween to jaded Christians who have tapped out of church, or friends who are not yet followers of Christ. It will help them see a completely different side of Christianity that they will like. 

What do you think our communities would look like if we took the message of Sacrilege seriously?

Oh, that's easy. Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed.

BOOM.

What do I have to do to get you and Cheryl back to Austin? Bribery? Extortion?


We love Austin except for May through October.  Anything above 140 degrees is not good for my complexion. Cheryl however will come for good Mexican food and a nice glass of Tempernillo!

~

Readers, let me tell you something: this book is a safe tool with zero freak factor to use in creating natural dialogue with folks who’ve tapped out of organized religion and their Catholic/Protestant upbringing. Sacrilege is a conversation starter you need not fear. I know one girl who gave away 30 copies to unchurched/dechurched women in her life, and they held weekly discussions on each chapter. The women were so moved and won over, they invited Hugh to their gathering and bombarded him with stories of their own changed minds.

If you’re just up to here with Christian rhetoric and the blah blah blah white noise of religion, please do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Sacrilege. Hugh says everything we’re thinking but are sometimes afraid to murmur out loud. He asks the hard questions and runs headfirst into the messy gray of life. Not to mention the rock solid biblical case he makes for living like Jesus really lived, which if you’ve paid attention to your Bible, can get you into trouble with religious folks but might get you a whole lot closer to Jesus.

Who's in??


I have two copies to give away! Leave a comment about anything that resonated with you from this Q&A with Hugh, and I’ll draw two names at random and send you a copy!


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with no tags


334 Comments
displaying most recent 100 comments

Jennifer - July 17th, 2012 at 8:46 AM
I'm gonna toss my name in the hat and cross my fingers for a chance to read this. I need to experience a little bit more discomfort to grow and stretch more.
Mari Ann Moyers - July 17th, 2012 at 8:53 AM
I just finished reading "Interrupted" and "7". I read them in 2 days total! Six months ago God led my youth pastor husband and I away from our church of 23 years. We knew God was calling us to a new ministry - one about others and not about educating ourselves. Your story is my story in many ways. We have lost friends, been "shunned", suffered financially, and gotten our joy back! We are now a part of a church that has serving and loving the fringe of our society as their main vision. Can't wait to read "Sacrilige"! God bless. It is good to know that we aren't the only ones being sifted and changed!
d.l. mayfield - July 17th, 2012 at 8:55 AM
I would love to learn more about why it is the unpaid saints who are able to do this work so well, and how this should be empowering to all of us not "officially" in ministry. I really really want to read this book now!
Allyson R. - July 17th, 2012 at 8:56 AM
"AND I would give it away like candy in at Halloween to jaded Christians who have tapped out of church, or friends who are not yet followers of Christ. It will help them see a completely different side of Christianity that they will like."

This book is for me, a Christian who "tapped out of church." I found "7" by chance, and ever since, I have been devouring other books that are shaking me up, waking me up. I am grateful for this honest, raw writing that is helping me see Jesus through the cliches. I am with you, Jen--give me "something difficult and true."
Lynne - July 17th, 2012 at 9:08 AM
Jen, I am in! Will obtain a copy of Sacrilege some time today, come you know what or high water! Thanks for always calling the church "up higher"! Thanks for being open to the whatever our Abba Father is callling out...

Leanna Thompson - July 17th, 2012 at 9:11 AM
As someone who has been away and come back to church I think this would be a great tool to help those that have fallen away. Once I realized (or rather God revealed to me) that people are not like God I found that I could love them even though they stomped all over my feelings. Thank you for your transparency.
Bethany - July 17th, 2012 at 9:19 AM
I would love to read more about his opinions on Communion. It's not something I've thought a lot about until recently. I will be buying this book if I don't win! :)
Laura - July 17th, 2012 at 9:37 AM
Thanks for sharing these book recommendations....I read non-stop. Yesterday, I met with a 21 year old girl for lunch. She told me she has given up on "religion" and doesn't want to have anything to do with it anymore. I tried to encourage her but it sounds like Sacrilege might be a great book for her to read. I too will be buying this book if I don't win.
Laura Crosby - July 17th, 2012 at 9:46 AM
Sounds like the perfect next book for our "7" group of intrepid women not afraid of Jesus shaking up our lives! Love the answer to what might happen: "Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed."
Halee - July 17th, 2012 at 9:53 AM
When he talks about what communities would look like... that the "churchy people" would hate us and the unchurched would love us. This has been such a struggle for me lately. Doing what we feel is right and biblical and trying to play the political church games for the sake of needing a paying job. Lately my husband and I have been considering the ramifications of saying forget the denomination, forget the paycheck, let's just do what we are called to do, let's start a church, the way we believe church should be, no more games. I grew up in an area where if the prostitute were to walk down to the front wanting to know Jesus people would be too wrapped up in the fact that she is dressed like a prostitute, "how dare she enter church like that..." We need to be going out and finding more of these sorts of people and saying "Come to Jesus".
These are my jumbled thoughts... I want to read this book,
Candace - July 17th, 2012 at 10:10 AM
I love even just the title of the book. As a pastor's wife/ recovering legalist, I need that movement of sacrilege in my life. To take the routine and monotony out of my spiritual life and bring realness back into it.
Allen - July 17th, 2012 at 10:12 AM
We can safely do away with all of the man made traditions and serve like Jesus served. He didn't call us to establish museums to dead saints or country clubs that exclude sinners. He ate with sinners and hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors.

-Peace
Allen
Steve - July 17th, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Two things... Hugh and Brandon would have sat next to one another in homeroom. You guys are re-creating the high school experience!

Also, I can't wait to read the book. Thanks for this breakdown.

Oh, and: mmmmmm....bison.
Krista Titkrisworth - July 17th, 2012 at 10:15 AM
I LOVE what he says about the Lord's Supper!! I've been thinking for years that what we do is a religious ritual and that is so NOT Jesus! That can't be what He meant for us to do! I can't wait to read this book!
Shannon - July 17th, 2012 at 10:16 AM
I'm fascinated by the new opinion on communion he discusses. Have never heard that view expressed and would love to read more about it!
Mary - July 17th, 2012 at 10:25 AM
I love that if we lived liked Jesus did the unchurched would LOVE us!!! Not that I'm looking for adoration but how awesome would it be if we didn't constantly have to fight our current reputation and just be able to minister and witness without the preconceptions others have of us. What if we were able to just glorify God by our actions that people were just wanting what we have and coming in droves to find out more about Jesus!!!
Nicci O - July 17th, 2012 at 10:30 AM
I love the quote: " unpaid saints are much better positioned to affect the lives of real people than the pros"

Whether or not laypeople are "better positioned" is probably debatable, but I think it's definitely true that we are all called to make disciples and effect change for and with Jesus.
Julie - July 17th, 2012 at 10:38 AM
This: "Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus."
Kate - July 17th, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Loved what he said about communion. I've always argued that, but never really knew how to back it up.
Heather - July 17th, 2012 at 11:19 AM
I want to be a good person and am doing my own adaptation of your book 7 right now where I take the topic of each month but bring that thing to someone who doesn't have it. For food month, we started making casseroles for a homeless shelter that feeds 500 men a day. We make 4 casseroles a week which feeds 24 men a week. So on and so forth. Anywho...I am scared away from oraganized religion because I don't care about all the structure and rituals and guilt...I just want to be a good person like Jesus really was. I would like to read this book. I'd love to win it, but if I don't I'll probably get it for my Kindle.
Sarah - July 17th, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Very fascinated about his take on the Lord's Supper, and would love to read the whole shebang. Obviously he has thought lots about it and wrote more than he just said. As an Anglican who very much values the Eucharist (Great Thanksgiving), I think this is definitely something to think about. Thanks, Jen! (PS I'm starting up a book club on Thursday night discussing 7! So excited!)
Sarah Van Beveren - July 17th, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed.
Kandi - July 17th, 2012 at 11:30 AM
"Anything north of meekness is just religion and people can't stand it or stand for it."
Loved this as I've been praying and thinking about what it means to live humbly but righteously before the Lord. I'm pretty sure we Christians focus WAY too much on that righteous and WAY too little on the humility part.
Kelli McCoy - July 17th, 2012 at 11:31 AM
The definition of sacrilege is something I was not familiar with until I read this blog post. How incredible is that concept! I love it!
Lisa - July 17th, 2012 at 11:35 AM
"Not to mention the rock solid biblical case he makes for living like Jesus really lived, which if you’ve paid attention to your Bible, can get you into trouble with religious folks but might get you a whole lot closer to Jesus." Is it wrong that I love the looks on a couple of my Bible study ladies' faces when I tell them things like - I'm praying for a different trafficked woman every day or ask them if they want to contribute to buy clothes and toiletries for a young woman who has decided to leave the streets, which means leaving all her worldly possessions? Bless 'em...I won't quit sharing those things with the few who "twitch".
Ashlyn Briegge - July 17th, 2012 at 11:50 AM
I absolutely love this:
What do you think our communities would look like if we took the message of Sacrilege seriously?

Oh, that's easy. Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed.

I can't wait to read this book... but just started "Interrupted" :)

gwen - July 17th, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I like how you try to get in trouble right away. Why did you title the book ‘Sacrilege’?

Simply put, it just means to remove religion from something or to tear away what some people might think is religious. Sacrilege isn't about defiling, defaming, or profaning anything good. But it is about stripping away anything that hides the real deal, the real Jesus, and the real story of the Gospel and kingdom living. I personally think the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity. Love how he says this.

I would love to have this book. sounds awesome! Pick me Pick me!! (:
Karen C - July 17th, 2012 at 12:27 PM
" it is about stripping away anything that hides the real deal, the real Jesus, and the real story of the Gospel and kingdom living" LOVE it. Can't wait to read it. Winning it would be even better! Thanks for the opportunity.
Tiffany - July 17th, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I'm curious about the idea that "non-leaders are the new leaders." My husband and I have been discussing this, and it would be nice to have another perspective!
Chris Wiegand - July 17th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Whether I "win" a copy of this book or not I got to get my hands on one. We are planting our first missional community and trying to develop leaders. I like his answer to this question:

You’ve carved out a strong niche writing for church leaders. Why did you decide to write a book for “non-leaders”?

To be a bit crass, I think non-leaders are the new leaders.  And unpaid saints are much better positioned to affect the lives of real people than the pros.  As I have assessed the landscape of the lives of pastors, incarnational living seems to be quite elusive from those whose calling is to lead the church.  The peasants, the plumbers, and baristas and bar managers can easily take the sacrilegious way of Jesus and make it their own … starting tomorrow! 

Amen and amen!

Monica - July 17th, 2012 at 1:01 PM
The part about leaders being elusive resonated the most. Leaders easily fall into the trap of 'majoring in the minors' and without a firm discipline to resolve to do otherwise, the problem perpetuates. The best leaders obviously lead by example and never ask another to do something he or she wouldn't do herself or himself.
Camille - July 17th, 2012 at 1:25 PM
I love the stuff he said about communion not being a tool of exclusion or judgment. I was raised Methodist where communion was offered to "all who earnestly repent of their sins," but no one did background checks before Sunday services, so anyone was welcome at the table. However, I married a former Catholic, and every Christmas Eve, we go to his church with his family where I have to cross my arms over my chest and bow my head, unable to take part in communion since I'm not Catholic. It feels so wrong that a clergy member or a particular denomination should decide to limit the Lord's Supper, when Jesus died for all of us. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the review and interview! :-)
Judy - July 17th, 2012 at 2:07 PM
Fascinated by this angle..."I hope to also give people an angle that will challenge and release them into true incarnational living. I also wanted people to know that the Bible gives them permission to be with, love, accept, and befriend sinners; that the Bible gives them freedom to enjoy life and embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith."
Christine W - July 17th, 2012 at 2:47 PM
I love the insight on meekness! I think we have a tendency to try to just "be who we are" sometimes and make sure our personalities shout loudly and clearly...but meekness is what we should strive for! It's not a *bad* thing, as the world sometimes tries to portray it.
Amanda Sadler - July 17th, 2012 at 2:51 PM
"I also wanted people to know that the Bible gives them permission to be with, love, accept, and befriend sinners; that the Bible gives them freedom to enjoy life and embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith. " Oh brother, this is going to be GUUUUD! Can I order in bulk to hand out at Halloween? Ha!
Nicole - July 17th, 2012 at 3:14 PM
I want to read the communion chapter. I found this interesting "The Table of the Lord has become another ‘false” line in the sand instead of what was truly intended to be…that of an invitation to eat with Jesus and experience his mercy."
LeeAnn - July 17th, 2012 at 3:43 PM
I loved this -- "Church people would be afraid or annoyed by us, and the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed."

How true it is.
Cheryl Sweeney - July 17th, 2012 at 4:22 PM
I feel the same way you do, Jen, about the sorts of books worth reading...none of this mamby pamby stuff! What resonated with me the most from the interview was this line: "If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed." I love that Jesus was a rebel, and I wanna be just like him and change the world. Would LOVE a copy of Hugh's book.
Debbie Slaughter - July 17th, 2012 at 5:10 PM
The part about the Lord's Supper made me shout "YES" at my computer! Who is actually "worthy" to partake in anything related to Christ? Isn't that what HE is all about? We are a sad group, we modern day Christians.

By the way - I'm one of those crazy people that buy multiple copies of YOUR books and force my friends to read them. They usually cuss me a few times after that:)
Kim C. - July 17th, 2012 at 5:24 PM
"...people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity." So thankful for grace!
Alana - July 17th, 2012 at 5:24 PM
I would like to own a copy of a sharp pair of scissors that will push me out of my comfort zone, back into the place where the Spirit dictates my direction, not my gps or my agenda.
If I don't win it, I guess I'll just have to buy my own :)
Jermaine - July 17th, 2012 at 5:39 PM
I am so happy you are doing this series of your favorite books, I loved all of this, especially thoughts on communion.
Missy - July 17th, 2012 at 5:52 PM
I am intrigued by his take on communion. I grew up Catholic and now belong to a Baptist church and have always been baffled by the rules of it all!
Brandy - July 17th, 2012 at 7:25 PM
Love, love, love..."it is about stripping away anything that hides the real deal, the real Jesus, and the real story of the Gospel and kingdom living. I personally think the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity."

Also, love open communion and am interested in what this book says...does it address communion offered up by laity? Very intrigued...
Mandy - July 17th, 2012 at 7:33 PM
" If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed."
-love this quote... makes me really want to read the book
Linds - July 17th, 2012 at 7:41 PM
I had never heard of you until last week when someone recommended your book "Seven" to me via Facebook. I'm hooked on the book, and have almost finished it in 3 days.

This book by Hugh looks like something that I could really use right now with some things going on in my extended family... I'm definitely going to look into putting it on my kindle "que".
Flower Patch Farmgirl - July 17th, 2012 at 7:51 PM
I like to call you the Haltermakers. You've collectively jacked our world up. And we like it. Hugh's chapter on communion was the one that got to me the most (in a good way) AND...your take on communion in Interrupted (just finished last week) was like a Hallelujah moment.
Donna - July 17th, 2012 at 7:52 PM
Thank you for the book tip! It's funny but I've been looking for a book that would help me see the real deal Jesus. I've just finished Evolving in Monkey Town and was overwhelmed to see one who questioned status quo religion. I want to get back to the real thing, the real mission.
Erin - July 17th, 2012 at 9:03 PM
Hi, I am a very confused stay-at-home wife and mom. This book sounds like something I would LOVE to get my hands on. Unless it makes me even more spiritually confused. (Just finished Radical and Crazy Love. Now I am inspired but have no earthly CLUE what to do with it exactly.) I think I will find it somehow, if I don't win a copy. :-)
Marjorie - July 17th, 2012 at 9:25 PM
Love when he said to give the book away like Halloween candy to those jaded by the church. I have a friend that is jaded by his Catholic upbringing and facing serious medical issues. He is in desperate need of a relationship with Jesus. This book could be an icebreaker for me to reach out to him. Thanks!
Stacy - July 17th, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I'm interested....and I too LOVE books that challenge and inspire...and mess me up! Crazy Love, Hole in the Gospel, 7, Interrupted, Radical....
Our small group is in the beginning stages of going deeper into a missional community and my life is full of jaded Christians. To be honest, I'm 'spinning' a bit..inspired but not yet hearing God's call on where/how to move. So, maybe I'll read another book and keep praying, praying, praying...
dawn - July 17th, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I love this I wanted to ask you what are some of your favorite books. I love his comment about meekness... Really has me thinking what does it look like to be meek when sharing gods love. As someone who is loud and often crass I am really pondering!
Jenn LeBow - July 17th, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I'm buying this even if I win one. I know exactly who I'm giving it to first (and second), well, after me, of course, let's not get too hyper-givey here. I mean, that would indicate that I am already like Jesus enough that I might not need to read this book, and whoo boy, do I need to read it. And be more like Jesus.

Loved this bit: "embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith." NICE.

And about you, I loved this bit: "So we did what we do best: tracked him down in real life and made him be ours." Because I do that, too.
Lee Patterson - July 17th, 2012 at 11:08 PM
The very beginning - I love:
"Sacrilege isn't about defiling, defaming, or profaning anything good. But it is about stripping away anything that hides the real deal, the real Jesus, and the real story of the Gospel and kingdom living."
Let's just get real!
Naomi Roach - July 18th, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Can I quote his every response? Wow!

I would LOVE to read this book and pass it on to a friend who grew up under an extremely false sense of "religion". I have poured into their heart for years, trying to show how to have a RELATIONSHIP! Unfortunately, the death of their young daughter has opened their mind to satan's deception
Nancy H - July 18th, 2012 at 6:14 AM
I recently read Sacrilege and especially loved his Tangible Kingdom, (which I think should be the new church primer--"if you only read ONE BOOK this year..."), I just read Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution which is amazing as well. GS40 garage sale Aug 11, SO EXCITED with what God is doing in the church right now. I had NO IDEA I was so legalistic and judgmental and frankly religious without it positively affecting my friends and family, gee I wonder why?

Best quote of the interview: "If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed. BOOM."

And I'm finding that it's AMAZINGLY easier and frankly a lot more fun than religion. Jesus is the best.
Nancy H - July 18th, 2012 at 6:28 AM
on meekness: love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

(at least that's as best as I can remember...I've been reading and working on memorizing this from 1 Corinthians 13 as an antidote to my judgmentalism and short-temper and pride). We so need this in the Church today.
Kristine - July 18th, 2012 at 7:04 AM
Our congregation is in the middle of the vision/mission statement drafting process and are moving to a low income neighborhood to do some real evangelism in less than a month. I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book, get kicked off the seat of complacency, wrap my mind around getting my hands, feet legs and body messy with real evangelism - not just my fingertips in our neat and tidy little "programs". I am so thankful for the Christian leaders of the day that are coming forward, challenging the mainstream to examine ourselves and rethink what "church" is and what Christ-follower really means.
jennifer - July 18th, 2012 at 7:41 AM
Meekness....my husband and I have been talking about this a lot lately. We've seen a lot of pride and self promotion/preservation in the church lately. It has us a bit disillusioned and disappointed.
Charlotte - July 18th, 2012 at 9:11 AM
I finished Interrupted yesterday (cover to cover in less than 18 hours. Yes, my four children ran amuck all day long while I read) and my husband (who is reading 7) and I decided that we're going to start a missional small group that meets in the same format your ANC groups meet in: fellowship, group mission outreach, fellowship, indidividual family outreaches. Sounds like this might be a great book for our group to start on, once God sends us the group members.
Heather - July 18th, 2012 at 9:51 AM
Q "What do you think our communities would look like if we took the message of Sacrilege seriously?", and A: the unchurched normal folks would love us, just as they did Jesus. Well, that really got my attention. I've been seeking a way to reach unchurched loved ones and feeling like I'd hit a mental wall. I'd love to read this and pass it on to those people!
Kathryn - July 18th, 2012 at 10:35 AM
I have absolutely had it "up to here with Christian rhetoric and the blah blah blah white noise of religion!" I want real authentic life-changing Christianity!
Susanna - July 18th, 2012 at 10:43 AM
"the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity." Yes, yes, yes. God help me to not be a stumbling block, because I know in my own strength I surely will be.
Casey - July 18th, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I'm not quite through with Interrupted and it has undone me. I will need some time to marinate before tackling Sacrilege.
Katie C - July 18th, 2012 at 1:42 PM
Can I still comment to win this? :) I would LOVE to read this and I know a few women in my life that would too. If I don't win it, I will definitely be going out to buy a copy!
anna - July 18th, 2012 at 2:16 PM
i would love to read this book!!!! my husband has been a youth minister for the past 8 years, since fresh out of college. we have a great great church family. but after re-reading Shane Claiborne's Irresistable Revolution and then recently your book, Interrupted, BOOM, my world is shaking and it's awesome! I have run across several several old friends from college or before who used to profess Jesus but now claim to be agnostics or athiests b/c they got burned by "the church". I'd love to read more about what this messy life of following Jesus looks like, and how I can start a real conversation w/ my friends about the love and life and truth in Jesus. pick me pick me!!!! :)
Shauna VW - July 18th, 2012 at 2:18 PM
Um. I love this! If I don't win it I will have to buy it. I have to admit I am late in reading this post only because I was 3 hours away from home to attend and event YOU were SPEAKING at!! Loved getting to meet you again! :)
Jenn - July 18th, 2012 at 2:35 PM
My husband and I recently moved from Austin back to my small Texas hometown where religion is prevalent and Jesus just isn't to be found in the church. We took biblical community for granted in Austin and are struggling to try and create it here by hosting home church in our living room. It's messy and unorthodox but it's authentic.

I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!
Amber - July 18th, 2012 at 4:51 PM
It's amazing what can happen in 2000 years. A whole lot of stuff can get messed up that's for sure. I want this book and I'm gonna read the chapter on communion first then go back and read the rest. :) I am so intrigued.
Sheila - July 18th, 2012 at 5:27 PM
"To be a bit crass, I think non-leaders are the new leaders. And unpaid saints are much better positioned to affect the lives of real people than the pros."

I love this! I think it is so true.
Michele - July 18th, 2012 at 5:43 PM
So agreed with this part "I personally think the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity."
Linds - July 18th, 2012 at 6:24 PM
Our church here in the UK is struggling out from under the heavy cloak of tradition to become missional, and oh, do we need every encouragement and tool to reach out to the jaded, forgotten and discouraged. This book sounds exactly right for us!
Melissa N - July 18th, 2012 at 6:31 PM
Thanks for the review-definately going to look for a used copy of this on amazon!!! I am always on the lookout for these kinds of books and appreciate any other suggestions you can give! :)
Emily - July 18th, 2012 at 6:50 PM
I love the Beatitudes too! I would love to read this.
Charis - July 18th, 2012 at 7:15 PM
We are thinking about a church satellite and would love a copy of this book as we've been praying over what direction to go.
Lacey Cummings - July 18th, 2012 at 8:21 PM
"the Bible gives them freedom to enjoy life and embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith. " LOVE THIS
Brandi - July 18th, 2012 at 8:31 PM
This book has my husband's name written all over it. This sounds like just what he feels.
Naomi - July 18th, 2012 at 10:08 PM
This sounds like the push we need for sure.
becca - July 18th, 2012 at 10:30 PM
This sounds fantastic. I love what he says ab stripping away anything that distracts from Jesus . . .
Mindy W - July 18th, 2012 at 10:40 PM
First off, before I even answer your obligatory question... Gosh darn it, Jen!! I do not want to buy another book! I've plowed through all three your little husband/wife duet have written. They've messed with me to the point I can't blog about them. I've just started Radical, because of your little link up to the Verge conference where I heard Platt and was compelled to read this man's book. I'm pretty sure my Amazon cart will hold Claiborne's book soon, though I'm trying to resist it, except it sounds so me. And I've all altogether avoided HH's book, just thinking that by reading Interrupted, I was good; I got the main points; Clif notes Hatmaker style. So why do I want this book? Because... because! I'm in the middle of undoing all years of a Christian upbringing, which I am entirely grateful for, but which has left me sterile to the unbelievers around me. My favorite part so far? "It makes you unpopular with the... people." (Can't remember exactly as this is the world's longest comment.) I want to read a book that, if it lives up to the awesome pitch you give, confirms that in me or sets me straight.
Debby - July 19th, 2012 at 2:58 AM
"I think non-leaders are the new leaders. And unpaid saints are much better positioned to affect the lives of real people than the pros." Definitely resonated with my heart! Now if only all us unpaid saints would believe that truth and start to live it!
Sue J. - July 19th, 2012 at 8:39 AM
I'm not sure that we need any more new leaders. Problem is, we continue to be challenged to follow THE Leader we already have! Centuries of layers of Christian "philosophy," denominational direction (and discipline!), false prophets and teachers, are all pulling us further and further away from the One who gave us the Way in the beginning. Sometimes I feel like I'm in in "The Perfect Storm" riding out some big waves, as far as understanding what's going on in our world and my place in this Christian walk. I appreciate those who are deconstructing the layers and discussing the Word with its true intent and purpose--bringing us back to what Christ intended for people and His Church. Thanks for helping to keep it real, Jen!....
kerri - July 20th, 2012 at 3:46 AM
sounds like a good read
Dawna - July 20th, 2012 at 9:16 AM
This made me think about one particular person who has 'tapped out' of church all together. Might be a good discussion starter.
Candice - July 20th, 2012 at 9:22 AM
I love that he suggested giving this book to "friends who are not yet followers of Christ. It will help them see a completely different side of Christianity that they will like." I work at a university and I see so many students who've been judged by "Christians" and I want to scream from the rooftops that Jesus loves them.
Camille - July 20th, 2012 at 9:41 AM
I have devoured Tangible Kingdom and am excited to read this...I like how he said "That's where Jesus started when he began to try to re-orient religious people toward an entirely new faith system he called the Kingdom of God. As each chapter takes a beatitude, and then shows the sacrilegious alternative to religiosity...." Growing up in the church we have certain unspoken rituals and things we think are part of who Jesus is....then as we read these things Jesus starts asking...'are you sure you totally know ME..who I am...what I would do or think in these situations?' I am finding over and over that I don't really think I know....God continues to show us new ways of loving and living and He is changing us!
Kalyn - July 20th, 2012 at 9:59 AM
This book sounds awesome, and like something that I could really use/relate to right now.
sarah - July 20th, 2012 at 10:38 AM
"...friends who are not yet followers of Christ. It will help them see a completely different side of Christianity that they will like."

This resounded with me. I keep typing, deleting, typing, deleting. Trying to explain why I like that so much, and not finding the right words. There is so much prejudice in the church toward so many groups of people. I just want to tell the whole world that this is not what we are all about. There is more. There are some of us who are Christians and DON'T want to stone everyone who isn't just like us. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. (Actually, I just can't find words to say what I'm thinking that would be suitable for public exposure at the moment.)
Doris - July 20th, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Will read. Have you got into Rob Bell yet
Lyn - July 20th, 2012 at 7:22 PM
I've been searching for a long time for a book for a friend that likes to ask difficult questions, so I really liked the answer to "who should read this?"!
Christi - July 20th, 2012 at 8:48 PM
This resonated with me:

"I personally think the main reason people aren't coming toward Jesus is because they can't find him through all the mess of tradition, poor examples, judgment, rhetoric or religious activity...and that includes evangelical Christianity."

Help us, Holy Spirit!
Tina - July 20th, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Oh this looks like the next book for me for sure. Especially since my hubby and I have this new thing we have been trying to figure out... "what would it look like to be on mission right here right now?" Not waiting to get funded for Africa, but here in our little East Texas town. I think this book might help us out a tad in that way of thinking. Thanks for the chance to win, although I don't know if Ill wait, might go out tomorrow and buy it:)
April - July 21st, 2012 at 2:22 AM
resonating: "I also wanted people to know that the Bible gives them permission to be with, love, accept, and befriend sinners."

lets get out of our bubble people!! pick me pick me! I want to read more of this chapter.
Erin Krause - July 22nd, 2012 at 8:07 AM
I'm curious as to how you have had time to write ALL 356 names on pieces of paper to draw from a hat! THAT, I would love to see. This post (and so many others of yours) resonates with me in a deep way. My husband and I just left our chicago jobs 8 months ago to move intentional to Columbus, OH to live in the inner-city...It's been hard, but we are being stretched in immeasurable wonderful ways. We have gathered some peeps to join this crazy adventure and are looking to start meeting weekly to discuss intentional missional community....hmmmm...sounds like we might need to pick up a copy of this book!!...or I could be the one out of 89,938 of your readers to win one!! :)
Mandie Wright - July 22nd, 2012 at 7:04 PM
I love how he said that non-leaders are the new leaders. This is exactly what I think God is showing me right now. I feel like I have been waiting and waiting on my church leadership to do something, and God is asking me why I am waiting. I need to be that servant.
Bri - July 23rd, 2012 at 6:02 PM
Though I am still very involved in our church (heck, my husband is even in seminary right now)...I have become hardened of heart toward our church members. I would love to read this book b/c reaching out to the unchurched and unsaved is my hearts passion! We help with homeless outreach, engage with the homosexual community in our are (in small ways we're hoping to grow bigger) and are looking for ways to even get involved with some inmates in the jail near us. These people are the burden of my heart! So hearing him say how hard this might be for the religious sticklers...well that totally rocks my socks off!
Lindsay - July 24th, 2012 at 12:41 AM
"If Christians were the most sacriligious people in the neighborhood, our cities would be transformed." That is sooooo true it's insane. I love reading your posts! Doing "7" right now with a book club!
E - July 24th, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Tapped Out and de-churched resonates with me. I'm exhausted from "doing church" and just want Jesus.
Erin - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:15 PM
So Intrigued! May need to do this for the next book in our club! Communion Control is a resonating factor...by the way...when is the give away?
Sammy - November 13th, 2013 at 8:19 PM
Got a copy. Give it to someone who needs it. My wife and I immersing ourselves into our neighbor's lives. Not because we got a secret agenda, but because we love them and want to love them the way Jesus did. Both grew up Baptist and it has been refreshing to throw off the "robes of tradition" and get dirty. So I love this line, " I also wanted people to know that the Bible gives them permission to be with, love, accept, and befriend sinners; that the Bible gives them freedom to enjoy life and embrace the grey areas of life without fear, fundamentalism, or frigid faith."
Leave a Comment


Get e-mails from Jen...
Archive
2014 (10)
2013 (31)
January (3)
March (4)
April (3)
May (5)
June (3)
August (4)
September (3)
October (4)
December (2)
2012 (29)
February (1)
March (4)
April (3)
July (6)
August (2)
September (1)
October (6)
November (2)
December (4)
2011 (19)
2010 (1)
November (1)