Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Young Christian Authors: Josh Graves

Josh.jpgI will do this week a post of three young Christian authors whose books I’ve recently read and whose books help us all. I begin today with Josh Graves, a young pastor in Nashville whose new book (The Feast
) can be summarized in this way. He provides …

Episodes of kingdom work now.

The power of stories.

The need to absorb the words of Scripture.
I read Josh’s book and then realized I would be in Nashville where he pastors, so I wrote to him to see if we could have coffee or lunch together, and then he told me he would be attending (and speaking at) the conference I was attending in Nashville. Small world. We met up, chatted several times, and had lunch together. I wish we had more time.
This book is a gentle call by example to a missional life. Instead of giving stats on how wealthy we are, on how lazy we are, and of how selfish we are, Josh’s book just brings up one example after another — in story form — of what missional life looks like today. From the inside out. From missional work in the underbelly of Detroit to the homeless taking up space in his own home and learning about forgiveness from others … dotted with characters and stories and solid readings of the Gospels and the Bible …  
One of his themes is “eat this book,” an expression from Eugene Peterson about the proper stance toward Scripture. Josh quotes this before or after citing a text from Scripture and it calls us to ponder anew what we read. His expositions lead us into that pondering.
Pastors would benefit from this book for the stories. But I hope college student after college student buys this book and reads it with other college students so the word catches on that kingdom living begins now … and kingdom people make a difference.
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Phil W.

posted October 26, 2009 at 11:39 am

I’ve just started reading Josh’s book. I attend Otter Creek where we’re blessed to have him as our new preaching and teaching minister. If people are interested, they can listen to his sermons at The Following Jesus series has been a great one so far and the classes from September are very good as well.

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Ron Johns Jr

posted October 27, 2009 at 9:21 am

Our Wednesday night adult Bible class finished chapter 3 last week. I have been surprised by the increased attendance (45 instead of 25-30)and the number of books purchased (44 books mean more than one per couple attending). However, the focus of discussion surprises me more. These folks ask for specifics in how we can change behaviors and plans for our ministry in the community. One shepherd even questioned whether a planned expansion of our facilities would be disobedience to a call to begin a work among the poor in our community. The power of The Feast grows out of a novel ability to show us a picture we can actually imagine our selves becoming as the Missio Dei in our very real 21st Century neighborhoods.

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Cathy Messecar

posted November 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Well, I’m not college age so I can’t spread the news on any campus because I’m in the grandma-category. I bought two copies of Josh’s book a few weeks ago in Houston. I got to meet Josh in Abilene in September. I’ve only read a chapter or two, but I’m so encouraged that folk like Josh, young and old, are modeling Christ to others. I’m gifting one of the books, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold off until December 25th. We’ll see.

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posted November 30, 2009 at 10:47 am

Mr. McKnight,
Thank you for this review.
May we send it to some of our customers?
Leafwood Publishers

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