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Wholly Jesus: His Surprising Approach to Wholeness... and Why It Matters Today
Ampelon Publishing / Paperback
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Author: Mark Foreman
Located in: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
Submitted: July 31, 2008
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a simple, seasoned follower of Jesus who especially loves unchurched and antichurch people. I just celebrated my 35th anniversary with my partner in life and have pastored almost as long. At rock concerts I am known as Switchdad, the father of Jon and TIm Foreman. I love to surf and walk the beach. I have traveled the world learning from believers what it means to follow Jesus. My concept of church and discipleship has greatly been transformed by my brothers and sisters in developing and restricted nations.
What was your motivation behind this project? The entire human population is obsessed with fixing ourselves--wellbeing. In the western world it is seen particularly in the holistic, health and exercise movement. But no one seems to know what a whole person is or looks like. Magazine pictures seem to be our best attempt at the describing the goal. Curiously, Christians are largely absent from the conversation. Scripture offers the holy grail telling us what a transformed human can become--the image of God. Wholly Jesus is about seeing Jesus holistically and understanding his transformational work in us and through us holistically. We in the western world are trapped in dualistic thinking and it drastically affects how we interpret the goal of our faith. I wanted believers and unbelievers alike to understand that the goal of following Jesus is much bigger than forgiveness and heaven. And our outreach to the world is bigger than traditional evangelism. Jesus goal is to radically transform us into his image and place his redeeming characteristics into all of creation and culture.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope that readers will see Jesus and his true intentions "pop" off the page and into their lives. That each one would be converted anew to begin a journey of being transformed in character and become a radical agent of transformation in their sphere of influence-- transformed people transforming our world.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I have taught a course in seminary for years on Christian Wholeness. This project was the synthesis of years of pondering the subject. Writing this book has "radicalized" me to be more passionate about the claims of Jesus and to see how drastically different his intentions are than those of the common western believer.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? No doubt my greatest influence has been C. S. Lewis. He took me from being a "darn right" Christian to becoming a wide-eyed curious child/follower of Jesus. Chuck Smith and John Stott taught me to love the Bible and to serve only what's in the pantry. Helmut Thielicke's Being Human--Becoming Human imprinted me with the radical truth of our alien wholeness. George Ladd taught me about the kingdom of God. Dallas Willard has impressed upon me the truth of personal transformation And friends from around the world have taught me about cultural transformation. Jon Hus and Soren Kierkegaard have given me courage to swim upstream against church culture. My sons in Switchfoot have modeled for me how to be "Christians by faith, not genre." They have inspired me to escape my church genre to radically follow Jesus. Jesus daily teaches me grace and dignity.
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