Saturday, May 07, 2011

Revise Us Again

Revise Us Again, by Frank Viola, is one of the most refreshing books I've read in a long time.  It's a little volume that packs a big punch.  I shared a few nuggets with my staff, and it really blessed them.

God provides a beautiful script for every life -- but as we go through the process of living, things get complicated.  Our experiences, upbringing, religious traditions, culture and environment muddle the script in such a way that it needs revising

In each chapter, Viola presents a vibrant, robust faith to counteract the stale and false narratives that Christians tend to assume.

Some take-aways from the reading:

1)  Christ is always present.

"The light of God is always on.  But it looms in the background.  Yet, at another level, we can be deliberately conscious of his presence.  We can be focused on his presence in the foreground.  We can be attentive to it."

Viola then describes a simple but powerful way to bring Christ to the foreground:

"Open your mouth and say to him, 'Lord Jesus, I need you.'  As soon as you do, you are consciously practicing his presence."

2)  The indwelling Christ is the secret to spiritual vitality.

It's not just Jesus beside us -- or Jesus as our friend and guide.  It's not just asking "What would Jesus do?"  Rather, through the Holy Spirit, we can experience the fullness of Christ within!  "What is Jesus doing now?" 

3)  Christ speaks to us through others -- and not just the people we agree with.

If we only listen to people we agree with, we won't hear everything Christ has to say to we.  Some people have a unique emphasis -- and they go overboard on it.  Yet, with biblical discernment, and an open heart, we can learn much from these brothers and sisters, that will enrich our own understanding and faith.

4)  Be careful not to be captured by the same spirit you oppose.

When we're riled, it's easy to slip into the very same mindset and patterns we're criticizing.  For instance, if you're ranting about those who are judgmental, you're being judgmental towards them!

Great book -- great food for thought.  I highly recommend it.


(A complimentary copy was provided for me by the publisher for review.)

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