Because I love books, today I'm sharing another of my recent favorites.
Back in January, I did a book review of the daily devotional A Year With Jesus by R.P. Nettelhorst. Today I am reviewing a second book, I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus by Leonard Sweet.
This book is not a quick and easy read. Sweet's books have been described as "poetic" and with good reason. As a writer, I can appreciate his enthusiasm for the written word; a casual reader may not. However, even when I had to stop to reread and ponder certain sections, I still found myself drawn into the text.
After the introduction, the book is divided into three main parts: The Way, The Truth, The Life. Each part includes reflective questions for individual or group study at the conclusion.
This book is not just about leadership vs. followership. It addresses what it truly means to say I follow Jesus. Not, I want to be like Jesus, or I want to tell other people about Jesus, or I identify with Christian teachings. Following Jesus is more than all of those things.
Here is a sample of three specific things he considers that stood out to me, along with a quote that drove the point home:
1. The law is not the Savior—Living by a list of rules is a consoling but lazy way out of life. Rules enable us to go through life without having to figure out how to respond in situations. The problem is that there aren't enough rules for every situation. (p. 76)
2. On being true cross-bearers—The marks of the cross should be upon our shoulders. We should continually be digging its splinters from our palms. Crosses are neither comfortable nor convenient. And so many of our churches, in response, have counted the cost of that reality simply by downplaying or even ignoring it. (p. 155)
3. Behavior does not equal discipleship—Christianity always involves more than a decent morality, a compassionate code of conduct, a collection of creeds, or a set of cultic rituals. To a be a Christian is to literally share in the resurrection life of Jesus. Those who are living in Christ are implanted with his Spirit and are to impart that Spirit in the world. (p. 241)
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to examine their own Christian faith, as well as anyone curious about what it really means to follow Jesus. It will challenge some ideas you've always taken for granted (and may even make you cringe at points) but the overall message is positive and well worth the read.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.