Wednesday, August 19, 2009

dangerous wonder

i've had this book sitting on my shelf for several years now and just never really paid much attention to it and thought, "i should probably read that."

i had finished a couple of books i had been reading and so i was looking for another one to pick up and read, but i wanted something not so heady, if you know what i mean. i didn't want something that was going to cause my brain to hurt and to where i would have to read it over 2 times to fully understand it.

i had read a book a few years ago called messy spirituality, and liked that book, so i thought i'd pick this book off the shelf called dangerous wonder. thinking, that could be a good read, a few weeks before this i had a friend mention it in passing that it was a good book so i thought, hey why not.

well what i have found is that it certainly isn't causing my brain to hurt. this book has found its way straight to my heart. it's kicking my tail with pushing, encouraging and challenging me to pursue after those passions in my heart and those dreams, because they come from someone, they've been placed there for a reason.

it talks about getting out and living this faith out, even to what most people would call "extreme", but to jesus, its just following after him. it talks about reclaiming that dangerous wonder that we all had as a kid. when you are so terrified in a situation, but are just filled with awe and excitement. shouldn't that be how following jesus is? we're so scared cause we don't know what's going to happen next or where we're going to go, but in awe of how God has taken care of us and provided for us and just filled with excitement to see what's next.

so with that, i just want to provide you with several quotes from the book. this is a definite recommendation coming from me for you to go out and read the book.

"every day i want to be in the dangerous proximity to jesus. i long for a life that explodes with meaning and is filled with adventure, wonder, risk and danger. i long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. i want to be with jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh."

"the critical issue today is dullness. we have lost our astonishment. the good news is no longer good news, its okay news. christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. jesus doesn't change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore. he changes them into 'nice people.' if christianity is about being nice, i'm not interested."

"i'm ready for a christianity that 'ruins' my life, that captures my heart and makes me uncomfortable. . . i want to be 'dangerous' to a dull and boring religion."

"the greatest enemy of christianity may be people who say they believe in jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed . . . we have forgotten how to dance, how to sing, and how to laugh. we have allowed technology to beat our imaginations into submissions and have become tourists rather than travelers. we have been stunted by mediocrity."

"most of us act as if it is more important to make a living than to live. financial security is much more valued than the insecurity of following christ . . . well-meaning christians would advise fellow christians to seek financial security. seek christ, yes, but don't be foolhardy, don't be silly, don't be childish. find a good job. you can serve god and still work for a standard of living that reflects the economic realities of today."

"our world is populated with domesticated grownups who wold rather settle for safe, predictable answers instead of wild, unpredictable mystery. faith has been reduced to a comfortable system of beliefs about god instead of an uncomfortable encounter with god."

"the church should be full of christians who seek questions rather than answers, mystery instead of solutions, wonder instead of explanations."

"the living jesus is a problem in our religious institutions. yes. because if you are having a funeral, a nice funeral, and the dead person starts to move, there goes the funeral! and, dear brothers and sisters, jesus is moving!"

"every time the disciples starting establishing rules - no children near jesus; don't let the crowd touch jesus; don't talk to samaritan women . . . jesus told them to knock if off . . . we are substituting religious rules with me! jesus kept saying 'follow me' not 'follow my rules.' so most of us have spent our christian lives learning what we can't do instead of celebrating what we can do in jesus. . . it was jesus who taught us how to break the rules. it was jesus who touched the lepers, against the rules . . . it was jesus who broke the sabbath, against the rules . . . it was jesus who forgave people of their sins, against the rules."

"the christian life is more than finding jesus - it is following jesus."