Epistles of Thomas

May 28, 2009

Buck Naked Faith review

Filed under: Pastoral,Review — Thomas @ 23:05
Tags: ,

buck
This is one of those books that jumps out at you in the library! You can find it at 248.4 SAN. We have two copies so you should be able to find one available.

Eric Sanders, Buck Naked Faith: A Brutally Honest Look at Stunted Christianity. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2004. 156pp. 1576835251, 9781576835258.

The book is based on a instruction manual for bonsai that Sandras came across at his local library. There are seven basic instructions for “raising” a bonsai tree: 1) Start with potential; 2) Pick an attractive pot; 3) Prepare the soil; 4) Limit the water supply; 5) Aim for predictability; 6) Prune excess growth; 7) Protect the tree from hardship. Sanders realised that these seven elements are perfect for stunting the growth of any tree and they are also the elements that stunt many people in their Christian growth. The seven chapters of this book therefore counter these seven elements and reverse them:

1) Wake up your potential
2) Embrace the power of community
3) Enrich the soil of your life
4) Feel the full reign of God
5) Unleash your God-given DNA
6) Call forth life and growth in yourself and others
7) Learn to embrace pain.

The book is written in large part from the first person as Sandras uses the experiences of his own life to guide and warn others. The opening line of the book is just as startling as the title: “Sex with a stranger wasn’t supposed to end this way.” He immediately delves into his own history and the double life he was living as a campus minister who clubbed for hidden pleasure. One day he picked the wrong woman and his two worlds crashed together forcing him to chose between “buck naked faith” where appearances matched reality and a plastic faith that pretended to be everything he was not. He chose to get real and wrote this book as a consequence.

His opening reminded me of a story that Charles Templeton related in his book Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith. When Templeton was young he was chauffeuring a preacher who was living a double life. He writes that he was forced to drive this guy to a rendezvous with his lover. When I read that I wasn’t surprised that Templeton has such trouble reconciling his position in the church with an existent God. I’m glad that Sandras chose the higher path and desires to help others along it.

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