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Mud and the Masterpiece
Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus
by John Burke
Publisher:Baker Publishing Group (BPG)
John Burke's premise in this book is that every person on the planet - including the one in the mirror - is a masterpiece. Sometimes there is a lot of 'mud' obscuring the beauty of the artwork, but we can learn to see through the mud to the real person beneath. It's also about treating people with grace and mercy, seeing them as Jesus sees them. Importantly, he emphasizes that we should learn to keep grace and truth together in tension, because God uses these tools in tandem to restore human beings. He writes "All grace with no truth is unloving. Some Christians desiring to offer grace completely ignore the gravity of our wrongs against God, others and even ourselves. We minimize the serious consequences of sin under the guise of grace. But this is not a loving thing to do."
I found this book compelling reading. It is peppered with many real-life illustrations. The first part looks at the attitude of Jesus to the people He encountered in the Gospels. Part two looks at the actions of Jesus as He sent people out on mission to encounter and restore the world around Him. It is a clarion call to mission with lots of practical advice. I just love Appendix A which is called "Christianese Defined". It should be compulsory reading for all of us who want to stop using Christian jargon in the presentation of the Good News!
Reviewer: Jackie Rowe (30/07/13)