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Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus Paperback – June 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathy Escobar co-pastors the Refuge, an eclectic faith community in North Denver dedicated to those on the margins of life and faith. She journeys with people in hard places as a spiritual director, teacher, and group facilitator. A Pepperdine University graduate, she also has a Masters degree in Management/Organizational Development and a Certificate in Evangelical Spiritual Guidance from Denver Seminary.


Kathy's co-authored 2 other books, Come with Me: An Invitation to Break through the Walls Between You and God (Discovery House Press) and Refresh: Sharing Stories. Building Faith with Laura Greiner (New Hope Publishers, 2007). She also contributed to Taking Flight: Reclaiming the Female Half of God's Image Through Advocacy and Renewal, (Samizdat Creative, 2010).


Kathy is also on the leadership group for the Transform Network, a missional community formation network. She is a frequent speaker at gatherings and conferences around the United States. She lives in Arvada, Colorado with her husband, Jose, and 5 kids and blogs regularly about community life and spiritual formation at KathyEscobar.com. You can connect with Kathy on Facebook and Twitter.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Civitas Press (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615467903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615467900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first glance this book is surprising, against the grain, challenging, radical. But that's only because we're in love with the ideas of success, ascent, and victory. We're caught up in the American dream, and there are plenty of books that will tell us we can have our Jesus and our way of life too.
In Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus, Kathy Escobar reminds us of the Jesus we find in the gospels - the guy who eats with sinners and tax collectors, touches lepers, and upsets the power structures of his time. The Jesus who tells his disciples to do the same, and who promises us that *downward* is the only path to real joy.
Written from the low places, birthed from the Beatitudes, and seasoned with a refreshing dose of practical experience, Down We Go is a field guide for those who are tired of playing religious games, and long to follow Jesus into the places he asked us to go.
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Format: Paperback
There was a time in my life when I completely ignored the beatitudes and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. I found them too challenging. Sometimes I would read through the gospel of Matthew, but deliberately skip over chapters 5 to 7. I knew I was choosing what to read and what to ignore, but at least I was honest about it.

The thing is, I read what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about these words of Jesus and, whilst I agreed with him wholeheartedly, I simply wasn't up for the challenge. He said the following: `Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear His word. But again He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal, He means really putting it into practice.'

As I was reading about the work that was being done at The Refuge in Kathy Escobar's Down We Go, I felt the same uneasiness that's fuelled by my indifference creep into me: here's a group of people that is actually living the wild ways of Jesus as depicted in the Sermon on the Mount. I'm still trying to come up with an excuse why I can't do the same as them, but it's not going too well. If you want to remain comfortable with your life of upward mobility, then please, don't read this book.
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Format: Paperback
About 3 years ago, I was ready to completely throw in the towel in regards to anything close to faith, Christianity, or church. Having spent 11 years fully devoted to ministry, I had lived my life in what I hoped would bring deep fufillment. After a series of disappointing behind the scenes events, I watched the infastructure of what I thought I knew and believed about God and the church virtually crumble.

Several months later, I was sent a lifeline to Kathy's blog (kathyescobar.com) by a friend who knew I was one step away from just being done. It was the wisdom that permeated the words of that post, that quite literally, saved my faith.

In the guide, Down We Go, not only does the depth of what it could mean to be a follower of Jesus continue, but it inspires. In a world where it can feel stagnant and, well, devoid of purpose, Kathy's words ring with hope and new direction in living the ways of Jesus. With each chapter, more and more wind and possibilities are infused, and articulate more practice, instead of theory. *For those of you who are longing for a faith that is more practical, more worthy of your time, energy,and heart, and more altogether meaningful, this is for sure the guide for you.*
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There was a Christian song a few years ago that said Jesus wouldn't be welcome in most of our churches because "he might get blood on the carpet." The predominate reality in our churches is we have created a cultural Jesus as we want him to be, not as he actually was, because it's a comfortable God that comforts us -- a feel-good God.
Kathy hits the nail on the head that the message of Jesus was messy for a messed-up world in which messed-up people live. Jesus said the only people who would receive his message of redeption and revolutional love were people who knew they were sick and longed for a God who didn't judge them or turn them away to only spend time with "nice" people.
For us to embrace ALL people is to follow his teachings and life, and engage in developing relationship with people, including those that make us feel uncomfortable, giving to others what we really want for ourselves: dignity, respect, acceptance as-is, and love for who we are, as we are right now, and seeing our potential for growth.
Kathy repeatedly expresses her discomfort with the very thing she feels called to do, because it often doesn't make her feel good. But we can't heal from our brokenness and extend that to others without recognizing we're neither "better than" or "worse than" anyone else. We're all in need of redemption and restoration.
I'm grateful Kathy is so honest about this truth, and personally lives what she encourages her readers to practice herself. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll disclose a few things up front. I have been to the Refuge once. I have known Kathy for a few years, mostly from a distance, but we have become good friends. I read the manuscript before it was published and made comments, some of which may have been helpful. And I am a huge admirer of Kathy's leadership style and passion for setting things right.

So I'm wanting you to read the book, but it's not for any of the reasons I just listed. I am wanting those who say they are followers of Jesus to consider joining in this downward journey. And I think if you read this passionate, gritty, honest journal of Kathy's experiences at The Refuge so far, that you will be compelled to rethink what you presently believe about, well...almost everything. You may even put the book down and start your own downward journey.

It won't be a waste of your time, I promise. You may not like what she has to say, but you will probably end up liking what she is doing and wonder to yourself if there isn't some way you could rid yourself of some of your own Christian baggage. You may disagree with her at times...but you will be unsettled by the consideration. There are a lot of very practical and insightful ideas presented in the context of scripture and practice that will challenge the way you think about ministry, about God, and about yourself and about your relationships with those you are closest with. Be forewarned, though. You will likely end up with a longing for something more that will not go away.

Read the book. I dare you.
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