In Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist, Scott Sauls doesn’t tell us to go out and be more charming. He doesn’t say to take the Bible less seriously. He doesn’t say to be more or less of anything we already are. Instead this book walks us back through the basics of our faith, communities, and ministries in a way that points out just how integral these basic ingredients are to being a little more irresistible in the way we encounter the people around us.
Most of us are probably familiar with how Christians can come across as a little off-putting, tone-deaf, or even down-right offensive, depending on who’s talking. Sometimes Christians, in our humanity, can cause much harm thinking we’re doing what’s right or by covering up our wrongdoing. Unfortunately we’ve gotten a bad reputation in some circles. But as it says on the back cover: “What if Christians became the best advertisement for Jesus?”
I’d say that’s a very reasonable expectation and let’s do this!
This book is divided into three sections:
- “Abiding in the Irresistible Christ” – about being an imperfect human Christian, anchoring ourselves the promises in the Bible, and resting in the love of Jesus
- “Belonging to an Irresistible Community” – about practicing transparency and kindness within our home church communities, learning to give and receive criticism/direction from our brothers and sisters in Christ, and having hope in the midst of failure.
- “Becoming an Irresistible Christian” – about our outward actions in our bigger communities by treasuring the poor, embracing work as mission, and leaving things better then before.
I really appreciated how the structure of this book first focused us on our inward condition and faith, then on the wellbeing and spiritual honesty of our church communities, and only after that did the author address our outward approach to rest of the world.
We might expect that to become irresistible to non-christians we might have to direct even more energy outward than before, but Scott Sauls argues we need to first focus on our personal and group integrity as Christians before moving outward.
I would have loved to see a more diversity in the people he chose to quote in this book, but I think this book can be really helpful to Christians as we think about how to change the world’s perception of us just a smidgen. I’d recommend it with 4.5/5 stars.
Here are a few quotes!
Quotes from Part One – Abiding in the Irresistible Christ
“We live inside the truth when we preach to our souls daily, saying “Soul, Jesus lights the way for you. He has all of the resources you’ll need for all eternity – all of your needs both big and small as he, your Creator, defines them. All this and Jesus Christ too! Rest now, soul. Enjoy, and be merry.” p 57
Favorite Quote from Part 2 – Belonging to an Irresistible Community
“But what if the failure of Christians actually turns out to be the best argument for Christianity? […] The resurrection story represents the inauguration of a new world order, one in which a new community forms based not on how well God’s people follow his ways but on how fully God forgives them of their failure and inability to do so.” p 112
Favorite quotes from Part 3 – Becoming an Irresistible Christian
“With Jesus, as long as we are breathing, there is opportunity for the Holy Spirit of God to breathe his mercy-loving, justice-seeking, salvation life into us. And when he does, neighbor-love and concern for the poor will begin flowing irresistibly through us.” p 125
“What if, instead of being a burden, the poor are actually one of God’s greatest gifts to us? What if the poor,[…], are among our most competent teachers about what matters most in life, about how God’s kingdom works, and about what we can carry with us when our present life comes to an end?” p.136
What do you think? Want to read it? Have you read anything similar? This was better than other books I’ve read like this.
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