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The Briarpatch Gospel: Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places

Tyndale House / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

* What area of your life are you afraid to explore--- becoming friends with somebody who's different from you? Sharing thoughts on controversial issues? Confronting pain? Wheeler calls you to plow through the thicket of confusion, doubt, and fear---just like Jesus! Christ's radical message will inspire you to engage in open, honest relationships---with yourself and others. 256 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414372302
ISBN-13: 9781414372303
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Hasn’t Jesus called us into the thorns and thistles with Him to love what we find there? What if we had the courage to follow him into the briarpatch and discover life as we were always meant to live it? In The Briarpatch Gospel, dynamic young pastor Shayne Wheeler presents a radical message of grace, one that won’t allow you to remain comfortable merely sitting in a church pew. He shares his own heartbreaking personal journey through the briarpatch, and his church’s remarkable experience of creating a community in which people walk through life’s issues—even the darkest, most painful problems and questions—together. Unafraid. Like Jesus did.

Think about it: What is your (or your church’s) briarpatch—the area where you’re afraid to go, or feel unequipped to address? Is it sharing what you really think on controversial issues? Becoming friends with someone who’s different from you? Confronting and overcoming your own pain, doubts, or fears? Bold and challenging, The Briarpatch Gospel provides a new vernacular for Christians to have open, honest conversations about what loving each other in Christ’s name might look like in the briarpatches of their own communities.

Product Reviews

3.7 Stars Out Of 5
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(6)
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  1. Pennsylvania
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Briarpatch Gospel
    August 19, 2013
    bookworm
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    In the book, Briarpatch Gospel, the author teaches that because the world has changed, the church must also so that more people can be reached for Christ. According to the author, the only way to do this is by entering the thorns of life and loving others in spite of it. The author explains that when Jesus was on earth, He went into the briarpatch and met people where they were. He cared for the poor, healed the sick, and forgave sins. In other words, Jesus showed His great love for people through action and He loved those that society shunned: the poor, women, children, and sinners. The author teaches that like Jesus, we must put aside judgments and love people as people. Mr. Wheeler used several quotes, Scripture verses, and true stories that made his points stick and in a way that you understood completely what he was trying to communicate to his readers. Though this is not the typical kind of book I read, I did find several things that I believe will be helpful in making more like Christ and helping to draw others to Him.
  2. High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Motivation for the Ordinary Believer
    August 15, 2013
    eb7bibliophile
    High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    It was not difficult to follow his ideas, however, I have heard them before. Maybe this book is for those who are at a different stage than I am. There are good points made. I agree that jargon and specialized concepts should be explained in detail. I enjoyed the great quotes from writings by Bonhoeffer, Chesterton, Mother Teresa, and others. They illustrate his insights quite well, and gave me food for thought. The writing was very repetitive, and I felt that other authors have said it better. I find inaccurate grammar annoying, but there was not much of it so I only took off one star for that. This book does a nice job of encouraging anyone to speak up even if we don't know the answers and are not pastors.
  3. upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Briarpatch Gospel
    August 12, 2013
    Virginia
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Jesus has called us to go into all the world and tell others about Him, including the briarpatch ("thorny places") where many people are uncomfortable. A quote from the book states what a briarpatch is: "Entering the briarpatch means nothing more than loving people where they are, clearing their path of unnecessary obstacles, and being willing to share life with them- and let the life of Jesus be evident in us." The book is divided into 4 sections- The Problem of the Briarpatch, The Briarpatch Within, Into the Briarpatch and Transforming the Briarpatch.

    I thought the book was good and that the author made some good points about reaching others with the Gospel message.
  4. CdA, ID
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    challenging read
    August 9, 2013
    Leeann
    CdA, ID
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Briarpatch Gospel was an encouraging book about loving people right where they are, even in the messy parts of life. It encouraged believers to think about their attitudes towards homosexuals in the church and make sure they were extending grace. It was an overall well written book to challenge believers in their walks with God. I enjoyed it.
  5. Cumming, GA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Reach Out to Others!
    July 9, 2013
    countryman4ever
    Cumming, GA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In The Briarpatch Gospel, Shayne Wheeler exposed the challenges and trials of travelling in the thick briarpatch. Living in a complicated world is anything but an easy task. The briarpatch is consisted of people out of our typical circle of Christian friends. Some people try to avoid the gays, lesbians, and bi sexual orientation, the drunks, the loners, people with tattoos, piercings, ex-criminals, people who practice other religions, or anyone who doesn't fit in our group of friends. As Christians, we're called to love one another as Christ would. It's important to remember that we're not called to judge others. Who are we to say who Christ loves more and accepts, because we have all have sinned and fallen short at some time or another. Christ is the ultimate judge and he died on the cross for all of humanity sins.

    Shayne Wheeler's story started when he and his wife decided to move to Decatur, Georgia. He had a vision and a calling from God to reach out to a community and build a church. He decided that they needed to be a church that accepted everyone for who they are. Shayne pointed out that the world views Christians as being judgment and condemning rather than accepting and loving like Christ. Non-believers are watching how some professing Christians picket military funerals and loudly and boldly say, "God hates fags". Reading scripture and we know that nowhere is that saying in the Bible. Shayne Wheeler shared on page 189, "In Romans 1, homosexuality is mentioned alongside such issues as envy, strife, gossip and slander, lack of love and mercy, even disobedience to parents (Romans 1:29-31). It's important to love them and not say they are going to hell or that God hates them. Shayne Wheeler continued with, "I don't think the Bible supports same-sex relationships, but that does not mean I think you love Jesus less than I do in my own struggles with things the Bible clearly speaks against-greed, unforgiveness, or even lust. It just means we are all sinners in need of the grace God provides for us in the cross of Jesus. Brokenness is in all of us. We are all in this together. We are family" (Page 195).

    One of the chapters covered the topic of the hidden icebergs in our lives. Everyone knows that the dangerous part of the iceberg is beneath the surface. It's the part that we hide from others that damage our lives. Shayne Wheeler discovered that the two most problem areas people pursue is greed and sex. He stated that, "Yet Americans-whether Christian or no-give away less than 2 percent of their income to charitable organizations or to the poor" (Page 68). Many times we let our sole identity become how much stuff we have and how much is in the bank account. Sex is more of an intimacy longing and we want to be close to someone else but isn't just about sex. It's a sense of wanting to be connected and we want to be able to be ourselves with someone else. Many people turn to pornography for a temporary relief and they believe it will make you feel complete. But it never satisfies us for very long. Walking with Jesus through this life and beyond means being honest with yourself and others about your weaknesses, no matter how problematic and uncomfortable you may be.

    I would recommend this magnificent book to anyone who is looking to be shaken up and wants to be pulled out of your comfort zone. This book is for people who are seeking a resource on dealing with the critical needs in the world we're living in today. If you're aren't willing to overcome your own judgment and pride and befriend gays, bi, and lesbians, the drunks, people struggling with addictions, drugs, ex-criminals, and anyone who doesn't seem like you, then this book might not be for you. It's written for the radical people who are desperately trying to become like Christ. Christians, it's time to reach out and show the love of Christ to all people especially people who we wouldn't choose to be our friend. Shayne Wheeler had excellence points presented in the book that I know will offend most people. But loving others is a risk that we must take in order to become like Christ! This book will transform your life if you let it!

    Tyndale House Publishers/Tyndale Momentum has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
Displaying items 1-5 of 12
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