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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2011
Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

I have read the book, and watched the chapter by chapter downloads of the book as video. I responded to the Ransomed Hearts e-mail I received on the 21st Nov and clicked the link to a OutlawCast by John Eldredge the author, and very soon found myself in laughter, tears, and joy. I became a Christian in 1991 after 25 years of devout evangelical atheism! God is good hey! Like most of us I picked up some religious stuff along the way as I was disciple, taught, and encouraged in my faith. I know that when I read the Gospels, and enjoyed all that they brought, there had always been some bits I could not quite understand, or seemed out of character in some way. As John Eldredge has said, just words like a text or a letter are never the best way to communicate humor, feelings, and those things that involve our body language to fully communicate what our heart is trying to say. So once I had begun to set aside the pious reverent religious images and caricatures of Jesus taken on board though some teaching, movies and art etc., I was able to begin to think of Jesus as always loving, always good (even in his anger) and always building up, encouraging, correcting and guiding, challenging, kind, strong. Now a new understanding of Jesus starts to leap of the pages. This video gives several startling and revelationary outlines of what was going on, in the character, not at all pious, ever, totally real and relational, totally engaged relationally in every situation. Then in character I now see the glint in his eye when he says to disciples on four or five occasion "How long do I have to put with you guys?" And his love for them, tinged with a gentle fun, as an up building rebuke get through, and the job is done. They love him for the way his is with them. As do I, for the way He is with me. Even the "get behind me Satan" spoken at Peter.... Wow! Devastating the way I have heard it until now. Apply the character of Jesus. and His desire to see this wounded soldier who he loves so much, set free and released from the wounds he caries. Peter, as so often is the case leads with his mouth.. Jesus hears the words, feels the wobble as he too is struggling at this moment. Remember take this cup from me... Looking into Peter's heart Jesus sees the man he loves and speaks the words with direct eye contact and love above all else. Peter hears and is beautifully rebuked for his own good and he learns and loves and is changed, again. I love this Jesus. Come Lord Jesus.

Thank you John and all the team. More please.

Alan Vincent Bridgnorth England.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
Beautiful Outlaw kicks off with a great showcase of God's sense of humour and as it goes on, becomes more solemn. The variety of emotions in itself takes us back to the notion of God's enriched character. The entire display is set towards revealing many of the hidden perspectives of God whilst abolishing popular misconceptions about His personality.
Reading all about the playfulness of Jesus in Eldredge's book helps us to identify that the fun that can sometimes go missing from our faith lives. Beautiful Outlaw bears many examples that awaken the truth about God's joy without requiring a pipe organ. And whilst some may reference the hilarious - bird flies into a window scene, the one I found most akin to God's conversations with me was Eldredge's observations of the playful puppy. Whilst there were moments when after reading some verses in my Bible against John's narrative I remained impartial to a few of his perspectives, I respectfully left those parts with an open mind and appreciated the fractions which spoke to me. And I cannot list all of the superb scenes painted throughout stories that only divine intervention could have caused the man to pick up his bible and see. Such as the meticulous measuring of the Cana wine, which when explained by Eldredge starts a snowball of great insight into our Lords generosity. There are some really rib tickling moments too, like Jesus rising from the dead and casually asking his mates what's been happening lately. Priceless!
Grammatically, the book flows well. And Eldredge's writing style remains reminiscent of days gone by. The sombre elements of this book, work to bring about the urgency of knowing the real Jesus. The narrative goes on to share how Eldredge, his family and circle of friends experience Christ in a most profound way. And readers will be delighted that amidst the damaging stereotypes of our Lord, someone has spoken up for the `true' Christ, shattering many misconceptions about Jesus.
Thankfully Eldredge seems compelled to invite us to explore the intimacy within his private moments with Christ, so that we may all learn, celebrate and enjoy more of Him; and experiencing the Lord through the life of another as we do here through Eldredge's eyes, becomes a sheer privilege. And overall I found myself edified by Eldredge's ride right from the beginning all the way to its love outpoured, heart touching end. Beautiful Outlaw made sense of our Jesus where many popular interpretations I've encountered have failed. If you already know Jesus intimately, A Beautiful Outlaw is likely to add extra depth to your relationship with Christ. And thanks to Eldredge's confirmation we can safely rest assured that the glimmers of the dry humoured, witty, unafraid to go against the grain Jesus isn't a fiction of our imaginations after all. For those have yet to encounter the true Christ or as Eldredge puts it are need of `clearing the religious fog', I am certain that the experience found within his pages will be as life changing as it promises to be for all of those who have read it.
If only every Christian could gain the opportunity to absorb this book it would make many relationships a whole lot happier and healthier.
Beautiful Outlaw. Beautiful book. Thank you John, for not digging your treasures into a hole!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2011
After a long trip away, and a long stressful journey you walk in through your front door. How would you feel? The sigh of reief as you can finally put the bags down, you know where everything is, and everything feels right again is the closest I can come to describe the feeling that I got when I read this book. This book gave me more insight into what Jesus was like, and not just what he did than any other. Why did people follow him to thier own deaths? why do people still do that? This book gives a clue as to why.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2011
If you think you know Jesus - get this book. If you don't - get this book. It's brilliant. Then watch the video and realise there is so much more to Jesus than you thought!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2012
I'd found and watched the video online and thereafter ordered the and read the book. The literary style is very much at the 'laid back' end of the spectrum, and the nationality of the author is apparent from the cultural references: but these are entirely trivial observations which fail completely to convey its potential importance for those who need its message. It's so refreshing to hear someone discuss rationally, and on the basis of what's written clearly in the Bible, just how different is 'christian religion' from christianity and how pale the church is compared to the character and personality of the man who started it all off. Don't get me wrong, I love theology, I love to dig deep, but if all one comes up with is a bit more 'polish' for ones doctrinal trophies then the effort is futile (or worse). Read it, please read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2012
So many of us, either Christian or not, see Jesus from the perspective of what we were brought up with; we may then modify that as we go through life without radically assessing the truth about what he was (is) like. This book helps you to do just that, see something of the real Jesus during the time of his incarnation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2012
I brought this book when it first came out and it gave me a more meaningful perspective of who Jesus really is. john Eldredge has written a number of thought provoking books, which I feel this is the best of the bunch. I bought a copy for a friend who was getting baptised. As I thought it would inspire him to search even keener on who Jesus really is. He has just finished it and this was a person who doesnt really read books. If you read this book be prepared for a change of lifestyle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2012
Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge is one of the best books I have read. I was initially intrigued by the title, wondering what to expect, and the book didn't disappoint. From the start it portrayed Jesus in a way which made Him come alive. Here was not not only God's son but a man with real personality, with character traits we can all recognise. My attention was captured and held and I felt that, finally, after reading many other books about Jesus,that I was beginning to know Him and to really love Him. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to grow closer to our Lord and Saviour.
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on 3 August 2015
This is a really awful book. It is unspiritual and at times blasphemous. The author creates a Jesus in his own image, and then says that that is the true Jesus. So if Eldridge is a bit of a joker, irreverent, he makes out that Jesus is the same. It is a classic example of eisegesis. To give an example, he says that Jesus is impatient. Impatience is clearly taught in Scripture to be a sin, so Jesus according to Eldredge must be a sinner. He talks about a mug he has that says "Jesus saves" but which, when filled with hot liquid, says "Jesus shaves". He thinks Jesus would find this hilarious. I beg to differ. To gain a true picture of what Jesus is really like, we might remember that when certain individuals saw the Lord as He really is, they were "undone" (Isaiah 6), they fell at His feet as dead (Revelation 1), they abhorred themselves (Job 42), and these were some of the greatest men of God. Eldridge does nothing to promote a clearer view of Christ but rather does the opposite. For a more edifying read, look for "Hungry For More of Jesus" by David Wilkerson, "When I Saw Him" by Roy Hession, "We Would See Jesus" by Roy Hession or "The Pursuit of God" by A. W. Tozer. I can't get over how bad this book is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2012
Great book so far as I am only half really helping me understand the character of Jesus and what he was like. I wish that I could have been there at that time when He was on earth and have been able to be one of those in His inner circle of friends. I often forget that He had a sense of humour, was direct with people but kind at the same, got tired, knew hunger etc. this book is reminding me of His humanity again.
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