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Sufficient in Jesus
5 Stars Out Of 5
July 30, 2014
Sufficient in Jesus
Jesus with Dirty Feet is a book of sensitive straight-talk.
At first I was going to say that Don Everets takes us back to "bare bones Christianity," but that's not the best phrase.
He isn't explaining the skeletal structure of a religion, he's painting a portrait of a people and their King.
He starts with one Man (who had been born on a specific day in history- unmarked except that shepherds saw angels, in an ordinary birth as women know it, but to a virgin girl) and the Man is now grown up and spreading Good News.
His message is disarming and terrifying, simple and risky. It demands your whole life but he tells you to give it day by day. Jesus said "Follow me."
And people did. And do. Always they follow with fear and desires waging war inside them, with pain and sickness crippling them, with poverty or wealth distracting them, with liberal and conservative politics mixing into the faith and skewing things and with pettiness and large hearted generosity mingled together. As Rich Mullins sang, "I may falter in my steps, but never beyond Your reach."
And along the way we- those people- picked up steeples and Sunday clothes and systematic theology, and we try so hard to make Christian nations and explain God's word.
And we forget the Man who is the Only Reason to be a Christian.
(This man who was so crazy and unquestionably Good that He must be God.)
And whenever we glimpse Him again, we find Him perpetually startling and infinitely comforting.
This book often doesn't match with what the Bible teaches. The chapter on Jesus was the most frustrating because every page he contradicted scripture or made leaps of logic. On page 28-29, Everts says, "He never spoke vaguely...Jesus spoke in the language of parables. Using crystal-clear metaphors..."Jesus used temple in reference to his own body (John 2:19) without explaining: vague. No one understood the parables (Matt 13) hence Jesus' expanations to the disciples. They ask Jesus,"Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field": confusing. On page 52 he tells the parable of the sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8), stating that most people didn't want this kind of teaching, "So most just walked away dissapointed." The Bible doesn't mention anyone leaving dissapointed. The crowds stayed through all of the parables (that they didn't understand) and it was JESUS who left THEM (Matt 13:53, Mark 4:35, Luke 8:19-21). In chapter 6, Everts calls prayer, "enjoyable, satisfying, comfortable"(pg 86) accrediting this definition to Jesus (missed that verse). Three pages later (pg 89) he tells the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) referencing the tax collector's prayer: beating himself on the chest, saying, "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner" afraid to lift his eyes to heaven. Everts comment is, "Prayer is ... a time to relax and be honest." The tax collector is not relaxed, nor is his prayer "enjoyable, satisfying, comfortable". Sometimes talking to God is hard. These are just a few of the problems with this book. I think the author used a poetic feel good style and anything that detracted from that was omitted or changed. If you want to know Jesus, go search for him in the Bible, God promised that if we search for Him with our whole heart, we will find Him (Jer 29:13). Jesus wasn't very accepting of people who just kinda wanted to know Him (Matt 8:18-22; Matt 16:24-28; Mark 12: 41-44; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 12:8-12; Mark 7:24-30).
My youth just finished a summer camp utilizing this book. Much of what is said in the book is absolutely right on, but there is some error the author has allowed. Jesus did wear religious garments and Jesus did write a theological treatise.
I highly recommend this book, both for mature Christians who want a fresh perspective on their beliefs, and especially for anyone who's searching for Jesus without the cliches and stereotypes.The author uses a technique called "sense lines," which almost look like free-verse poetry. The words are simple but the effect is deeply moving, and very effective.I was told this little book is actually a long tract, and I intend to purchase a couple of copies and distribute them to friends and family.