Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Jesus Swagger: Break Free from Poser Christianity by Jarrid Wilson

Review: Jesus Swagger: Break Free from Poser Christianity
Jarrid Wilson
Nelson Books

Swagger?  “ A person’s style---the way they walk, talk, dress” is the definition Wilson chose to use for this work.  OK.  Not liking the word much, but we’ll go with it for now.  See if works or not. 
The subtitle is where the book goes with the swagger idea.  Real or fake.  Arrogant or humble.  Inclusive or exclusive even.  That’s the kind of look he explores in his book.  Perhaps the thin layer of respectable Christianity that has been around for a while has failed often enough for some folks to look for something more.  And that is where Wilson steps into the discussion. 

Wilson along with other authors have explored this topic a lot recently.  Maybe it is time to step back and check out where we are in this and then decide what comes next.  I applaud him and them for saying what has been painfully obvious to those outside the church for a long time.  Talk and walk don’t match.  Who needs that?  Nobody.  And the mainline denominations are feeling the pinch. 

Wilson’s treatment is adequate, but uneven, I think, perhaps as an effort to avoid sounding preachy.  I found myself skimming large sections and then slowing down to hear what he has to say in other spots.  

So in the end does “swagger” work?  This author objects to the use of homeboy in relationship to Jesus near the end of this book and says, “…I don’t think homeboy is something that magnifies the importance of his being….Jesus is not your homeboy.” (147-8). He has more to say in that vein but I’ll leave that for you to read.  Sorry, Jarrid, using swagger and especially an urban dictionary definition strikes me the same way.  

Do I recommend this book?  A reserved yes.  If you want to soft place to start exploring the topic, this one is it. 

This book was provided by the publisher in return for a review.

1 comment:

  1. You read my mind on this one! Particularly the use of the term "swagger" as it relates to "homeboy." Thanks for a good review!