Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God is full of intriguing examples, thoughtful stories and comfort-challenging perspectives.
Some readers will argue that while “Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God” author Rick Mckinley has wandered astray and abandoned the proclaimed kingdom message to turn from sins and instead he’s chosen to proclaim a social gospel of deeds and good works.
Still other readers will find the authors’ choice a fitting response to the challenge of James, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?”
I have found that this book encourages me to live my faith more publicly:
– Consider the needs of the los and lonely
– Care about them and their interests not just my own
– See them
– Listen to them
– Feel the loss of the needy
– Faith that acts is often heard before words
I love this:
“So why would I use “beautiful mess” to define the kingdom of God? God is perfect. God is not messy. Why would His kingdom be messy? Perhaps in this way: think of mess as real and apparent complexity, as absolute resistance against the tidy, easy, or manageable. Think of mysterious new life growing inexplicably out of loss and decay. Think of richness in what the world casts off. Think of a boy finding family and purpose and goodness in a desolate place and in the overwhelming stink of it. Mess like that. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”Happy are the have-nots. Favored are the forgotten. Beautiful is the mess.”
I care about those needs deeply.
The tension I feel with the authors is how far is too far:
– Are handouts the best way to respond to needs?
– How much should we dismiss the blatant sin of others?
– If I overlook their sins, at what point will I dismiss my own?
– Am I to feel guilty for being European-American in heritage?
– Socks? Yes. Should we also give cigarettes to homeless youth as a loving act?
I enjoy the thought-provoking, culture-revolutionary, out-of-the-box thinking much like Red Letter Revolution by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo.
Thoughtful and thought-filled stuff.
Keep asking us to want and to be Jesus more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their book review bloggers program. 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.”