As the subtitle “A way forward for those who are tired of taking sides” suggests, this is a provocative volume. His reference to “outside the lines” refers to his preference for living inside the lines where all is a perfect black and white. His writes because he is tired of taking sides. He is tired of all the isms and as he says, “…the ism that feeds them all: elitism”.
In writing he exposes that our “outrage” is often enjoyed. He says that “…some part of us loves feeling 1) right and 2) wronged.” It is all helpfully convicting, especially as he shows that Jesus operated a different way. It wasn’t simply about outrage for Him, but rather people and right and wrong. That is not a subtle difference.
What was subtle about this book, however, is how Mr. Sauls took the subject of outrage and turned it on us. Not only do we live in soundbites and thrive on arguments, but we have lost sight of what we should most scrutinize–ourselves. For example, he transforms the discussion on the unborn and poor into one about how we really view those made in the image of God. He took the issue of declining church attendance and made it about what we have done to drive them away.
In Part 2, he went deeper inside us. He took issues and discussed where a Christian must stand for truth while exposing where we are only playing a game. The chapters “Hypocrite or Work In Progress?” and “Self-esteem or God-esteem?” were his best.
This book speaks to areas of real need in our lives as Christians and I highly recommend it.
I received this book free from the publisher. 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.
3 thoughts on “Jesus Outside The Lines by Scott Sauls”
I think I shall be buying this book. I like his take on the “isms”. I’ve long held that one of the big problems in Christianity, and Fundamentalism in particular, is that so much of what people do is ideological, and ideologically driven. This leads to pragmatism. I think it is much better to be led by principle. Principles don’t change, but application does. If we stick to the principles (true fundamentals), then we won’t be driven to stick to what our ideology says, and we won’t be driven to pragmatic means to the ideological ends. I’m not sure that’s clear or not… But I’m curious if this is his approach in his book. Thanks for any answer you can provide.
He will say some things that you will not likely agree with, but overall he will provoke thinking. The book is helpful for sure.
He has a sample chapter online, about politics. I think I agree 100% with that one. I’ve seen such things, and sadly, when younger, got involved in discussions that were not, in the end, edifying. I learned things from that, however.