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, 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.
©2011 John Eldredge (P)2011 Hachette
I've read and listened to other books by John Eldredge. He always ends up forcing me to think outside the tiny and neat box that I have my faith in. To quote Mohammed Ali, Eldredge "floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee!" His language is simple and easy to follow but watch out for that "right hook" which is going to flatten your complacency and stagger your understanding of God. After reflecting about what Mr. Eldredge writes, I always end up loving God more.
The performance can have an effect on your appreciation of a book. Mr Eldredge does not have the voice of famous narrators but his genuine affection for the subject of the book becomes infectious and this overcomes any "shortfall" in the performance by my reasoning.
Okay, I know that 100% of those who read this will not love it, but most will. For those of you who don't already feel this way about Jesus, let me say the book is respectful, it's not a tongue in cheek joke book.
Thanks to BibleGateway, I've listened my way through the Bible, several times, several Bibles, different narrators. As many times as I've read the Bible, it was dry, tough to get through, read it because I was supposed to. But when I started listening to it, I started understanding it differently and I saw Jesus as not just the Son of God, but as a human. I could hear his sarcasm at the Apostles - really. How could he not get a bit frustrated as often as he had to tell them things?
The author, John Eldredge takes this even further and shows not only Jesus in the Bible but in everyday life. Jesus is all things to all people and perhaps this isn't your Jesus, but be assured this can be your Jesus.
Don't cheat yourself and Jesus by leaving him in the Bible as a two dimensional Savior. Jesus wants to give, so ask, he loves you, let him, you can have this kind of relationship with Jesus, just open your mind and your heart - he's there waiting. Don't be surprised if hear "What took you so long?"
If you already have this kind of relationship with Jesus, you will enjoy this book and perhaps, even gain more insights. If you've never had this type of relationship, but would like it, you will fall in love with this book and fall in love with Our Savior all over again. And if you are in the middle, not sure about all this - get the book, surely you can spare a few of the hours God has given you to read about His Son and enhance your life.
I enjoyed this so much, I listened to it three times in a row. Now, I'm going to try another book by this author, John Eldredge,Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really. I am excited!
Do you want to see the real Jesus? The Jesus who did things that makes our religious leaders uncomfortable? Ever wonder why Jesus would turn water into a couple hundred gallons of wine?
How could this Jesus be so powerful and bold when we???ve been conditioned to see someone meek & mild?
In Beautiful Outlaw, John digs into the Bible to uncover the Jesus we???ve missed.
Just in case you are wondering, I don???t work for these guys or get paid anything from them. This book has been so refreshing and a joy to listen to.
This was a great book to clear out the cobwebs of overly religious views of who Jesus is. We accept so many ugly, impotent ideas about Jesus - read this book. Re-read the gospels and be re-introduced to the most amazing man to ever live.
I am finding it very difficult to express how much I enjoyed this book. I've been a born-again Christian for 33 years. This book gave me a fresh view of my Lord and who He is. Folks, this is NOT church as usual. John digs deeply into just who Jesus is and presents us with a fresh drink of water. He helps to shed light on some of the questions I have had about the gospel stories. "What did the Lord mean when he said......" or "why did he say (or do) that?" This book is well-worth your money and your time. I've no doubt that I will listen to it multiple times. I plan to buy the book also, for my husband, who is not into audio books, but will definitely read this. I also plan to recommend it to friends. I enjoyed John's narration of the book very much - I came away with the feeling that he'd be a wonderful dinner guest - a winsome personality. Just in case you don't know who John is, here is his bio from his website, "Ransomed Heart Ministries":
John Eldredge is an author (you probably figured that out), a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God's love, and learn to live in God's Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (which he hated), and spent his boyhood summers on his grandfather’s cattle ranch in eastern Oregon (which he loved). John met his wife, Stasi, in high school (in drama class). But their romance did not begin until they each came to faith in Christ, after high school. John earned his undergraduate degree in Theater at Cal Poly, and directed a theater company in Los Angeles for several years before moving to Colorado with Focus on the Family, where he taught at the Focus on the Family Institute.
John earned his master’s degree in Counseling from Colorado Christian University, under the direction of Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. He worked as a counselor in private practice before launching Ransomed Heart in 2000. John and Stasi live in Colorado Springs with their three sons (Samuel, Blaine, and Luke), their golden retriever (Oban), and two horses (Whistle and Kokolo). While all of this is factually true, it somehow misses describing an actual person. He loves the outdoors passionately, and all beauty, Shakespeare, bow hunting, a good cigar, anything having to do with adventure, poetry, March Madness, working in the shop, fly fishing, classic rock, the Tetons, fish tacos, George MacDonald, green tea, buffalo steaks, dark chocolate, wild and open places, horses running, and too much more to name. He also uses the expression “far out” way too much.
I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
It brings to light several context clues in the Gospels that I otherwise might miss when reading them with my 21st century eyes. It made me appreciate the personal touch Jesus brought to his ministry and how every person's story matters.
Unfortunately, no. I loved the content of the book, but it was often overshadowed by Eldredge's rather smug and patronizing performance. Felt like I was being read a bedtime story by Goofy the Dog.
Maybe pick up a text version instead...
The fact that I could listen to the voice of the author helped me feel closer to the telling of this important piece.
The thought that God is actually one who has a playful side to him and he anticipates the opportunity to spend time with us in a father role to play, discipline, and protect us on a daily basis.
There weren't any characters, really.
What the Shack showed me about the trinity, how it woke me up to love and strength,
Beautiful Outlaw did with the Man Jesus.
He'd laugh that I put that in capitals.
Well, Jesus, of course...lol
"oh ya, there's 153."
He did WHAT!
Eldredge's injection of Jesus's personality based on the Gospels.
How Eldredge related percieving the expression of Jesus' personality in the Gospel as similar to trying to express yourself fully on facebook or text without allowing false interpretations.
If you feel that the person who is Jesus seems remote to you, I reccomend this book.
Tell us about yourself! WHO Cares! It's not about me!
In our western culture we are trying to put a square peg in a round hole. John helps us to shave off those corners so Jesus can be a daily part of our lives. Afterall he says, there are168 hours in a week are we really going to get all we need of Jesus in 2hrs of church on Sunday! (my paraphrase)
I've had the pleasure of seeing John live and I am so glad that he reads this audible selection. That way nothing is "lost in the translation."
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