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Book Review – Jesus is Better than You Imagined

May 29, 2014

As many of you know, I have been reading quite a few books this year and am reviewing a good number of them. My latest read is Jesus is Better than You Imagined[1] by Jonathan Merritt. The title and bright colors on the cover caught my eye. After picking it up and reading the description on the inside of the dust jacket I was interested. Then I saw the unique list of odd bedfellows who make up the endorsements: Pastor and author Mark Batterson, activist and author Shane Claiborne, author and blogger Rachel Held Evans, Pastor and author Tullian Tchividjain, and President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources Thom Rainer. When a set of individuals who diverge on so many issues comes together to support a single book, it is worth the money to take a look.

At the start of the book it felt sluggish to me. I am not sure why, but it felt slow. I stuck with it and was rewarded for it. The deeper you get into the book the more it grips you. Merritt fills it with direct statements, very Twitter ready, which will grip you and force you to think deeper. His objective look at the current situation in believer’s lives was spot on.

The chapter which made the book complete for me was Chapter 5, “A Thread Called Grace.” In this chapter, Merritt exposes some of the darkest materials of his life and describes how the light of truth, grace, and mercy opened the doors of healing for him. This chapter was compelling reading. His testimony helps illustrate there are no easy answers to much of anything having to do with faith. Black and white are very thin slivers on the fringe of reality. In-between these slivers of black and white are a world of gray. That gray area is where most of us live, breath, work, and play. This chapter will confront the stereotypes many of us have created for ourselves.

This book is a great read and I recommend everyone to read it. What I would recommend is finding it on sale or waiting till the paperback comes out. At $20, even for a hardback, it is a little steep for my liking. But, the content is good enough that if you can afford the premium price, grab it and start reading it immediately.

 

[1] Jonathan Merritt. Jesus is Better than You Imagined. (New York, NY: Faith Words, 2014).

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