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Red Letters: a book review

Red Letters
Living a faith that bleeds
by Tom Davis

There are lots of “call to action”/social justice books coming out lately - many of them from unlikely sources. I think this is a great thing…except that many of them sound a lot like the typical colonialist views of the “let’s save the barbarians because they need us civilized people” days.

Red Letters is a refreshing exception. This book is raw and gutsy and very Christ centered. The call isn’t so much to social action as it is to be such a genuine and radical follower and lover of Jesus that you cannot help but be transformed into his likeness…and in turn, see his likeness in those around you.

Davis shares touching and powerful stories of living out the “red letters”, of capturing the ethos of the Gospel, not just developing a collection of obligatory behaviors.

This book is a quick read and very conversational in nature. It would be a great book for youth to read and discuss (that isn’t to say that this book is dumbed down in any shape or form, just that it’s not intimidating or pretentious).

Davis has done a great job at weaving personal experience with the life and call of Jesus with raw statistics with specific actions that can be taken to live a faith that bleeds.

These words left an impression with me as they did another reviewer - I use similar words with our faith community quite often.

Every morning when I get out of bed, I look for Jesus. No, not because I’ve misplaced Him. And I’m not talking about a feeling I get during prayer, or revelation that comes to me while reading Scripture. I’m talking about finding Jesus in the eyes of real people. In the eyes of the poor, the handicapped, the oppressed, the orphan, the homeless, the AIDS victim—the abandoned and the forgotten.
(Tom Davis, Red Letters, p. 15).

We often talk in the emerging church about being incarnations of Jesus - BEING Jesus to people. True enough but we also need to see Jesus in others…after all, he tells us himself that he’s there.

Be sure to check out Davis’ campaign, 5for50

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1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Brink — September 21, 2007 #

    Nicely said Makeesha. I think one of our greatest expressions of love is found in calling out the dignity of others and holding it as precious.

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