Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sacrilege: Finding Life In The Unorthodox Ways Of Jesus

Sacrilege: Finding Life In The Unorthodox Ways Of Jesus
By Hugh Halter

I just finished Sacrilege by Hugh Halter. I definitely loved the book, just as I have loved everything I have read by him so far. Halter tries to answer the question "what does it really mean to be like Jesus?" He addresses the gospels and the "ways of Jesus" by taking a fresh look at the beatitudes. He words are provocative, challenging, helpful, and formative for the church to be what God intends. This book does not address models of church ministry like his other books. Actually I don't think it hardly ever uses the words "missional" or "incarnational". And while some of the things he proposes are a "new way of thinking", he makes a good case for the possibility that they are really an "old way of thinking". A few of my favorite quotes:

...followership, instead of true discipleship, has been the norm, and thus we Christians have produced a lot more people that are like us than people who are like Jesus.  p44

Wrought with legalism, the Pharisees could have made the elder board in most US churches. Great behavior, few scandals...what more would any good pastor want? Ironic, isn't it, that it was these very well-behaved religious men who ended up being a hurdle rather than a bridge to bringing others into a real relationship with God? p48

You know what?  God and this thing called faith are so beyond my grasp that I am empty of the ability to know absolute truth. I know absolute truth exists.  But I also know that I am a human of very small brain compared to God, and I have no problem admitting that I may be wrong about many things and you may be right.  Only God Himself knows it all.  p67

Our perceived ideas or interpretations of "truth" have started religious wars.  "Truth" has construed private piety to be more important than taking care of orphans and widows.  "Truth" has taught us to blindly support whatever Israel wants.  "Truth" has casually brushed aside any thought of actually loving Muslims as a path to peace and change.  In other words, under the banner of "truth" many have missed the truth that Jesus preached.  In many cases, simple faith and humble learning have been replaced by a mountain-sized pile of ill-begotten ideas that encourage Christians to feel like they have arrived.  p70

Absolute truth is absolute.  God is truth and his Word is truth...There is however, one glaring problem with absolute truth, and that is that we, being humans, have a tendency to be...well, human.  And that means that we are biased, short-sighted, and very often wrong. p73

What do you think about letting God help you become a place of belonging for others instead of you just looking for another place to belong? p91

This isn't about a duty to be performed; it is about a relationship to be explored. p108

...Fervency in a slightly immature direction is better than apathy in the right direction.  p113