Last week I was able to get an advance copy of John Eldredge’s new book, Beautiful Outlaw. They’d of course love for me to write a review as the book comes out this week, and I am doing so… even though I haven’t finished the book yet. I actually had this whole thing written up and then clicked “close” instead of “save” so round 2 will probably be a bit shorter.

I remember when I was back in college that we read the book Knowing God by J.I. Packer. This was an amazingly well written book about the attributes of God, and I found myself feeling like I was really coming to know Him as I learned more about him. I truly did come to know God better during that period, but I don’t think it was just the facts that did it. Being surrounded by believers and truth at a small town Christian college will do wonders for your image of God; the only thing… it comes to an end after a few years, and if all you gained was facts about God, you’re going to be in a world of hurt when real life hits you.

I’m truly enjoying this book about the personality of Jesus. The Jesus who made the world also had to learn how to say “ma-ma” and “da-da.” The Jesus who saved my soul probably hit His thumb with a hammer and yelled somthing in the pain. This Jesus – the playful, extravagant, bluntly honest and sometimes even sarcastic Jesus – is the one I am falling in love with now. I don’t know how to explain how it happened, how He could be 100% God and 100% man, but it did. I can rest confidently in what Paul said in Phillipians 2:

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

I love how Eldredge mixes story, personal journey, and tales of truth straight from Jesus’ life into the book. That’s quite typical of his books, but it doesn’t get old on me.

I’d encourage you to pick the book up. You can also visit Ransomed Heart’s website or this site dedicated to the Beautiful Outlaw.