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Apr 11

Just Jesus by Walter Wink

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

JustJesusAs a well-read person I knew embarrassingly little about Walter Wink before I read this book. He’s a fascinating man. I wish that I had known him personally.

Reading “Just Jesus”, the final book by Walter Wink, was an introduction to a fascinating man who made public his joys and sorrows, successes and “my struggle to become human.” This book is a quick read. There are stories and discourses in short chapters, poems, and prayers.

I loved reading several chapters; my favorites were:

1. “The Pentecostal Church” and “Spiritual Healing” in which Wink describes his holy and wholly, genuine and ecstatic, miraculous spiritual experiences in great detail. I am neither Pentecostal nor someone who has shared his experiences, but I agree “These experiences enrich our sense of the possible.”

2. “Selma, Alabama” explains Wink’s sojourn into personal, practical steps to address moral, racial and political injustice in the 1960’s. “And this was happening,” he explained, “all over the United States: the moral climate has changed, clergy were radicalized, and congregations awakened to the sin of racism.”

3. I loved Wink’s description of the resilient prophet Ezekiel: “God gives him an adamantine forehead, like the hardest stone, harder than flint, to resist the stubbornness of his equally hardheaded people.”

4. To summarize “South Africa” would do Wink’s chapter a disservice. I’ll just say, I admire his courage, determination, resilience and commitment to non-violent resistance.

There are times I loved Wink’s insights:

Wink was in the process of dying “from complications of dementia” as he and Steven Berry were writing this book; it is therefore a vulnerable and very human book. So this quote was especially poignant and intriguing to me:

“And this is the revelation: God is HUMAN … It is the great error of humanity to believe that it is human. We are only fragmentarily human, fleetingly human, brokenly human. We see glimpses of our humanness, we can only dream of what a more human existence and political order would be like, but we have not yet arrived at true humanness. Only God is human, and we are made in God’s image and likeness—which is to say, we are capable of becoming human.”

There are other times I could not agree with his exegesis, theological “insights” or conclusions, yet, or maybe ever.

Conclusion: If my review would be based on my agreement with the writer I would give this book a 4/5, but since I could barely put the book down I was so fascinated by Wink’s “struggle to become human” to give it less that a 5/5 would be disingenuous.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 […] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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