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Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth Paperback – February 1, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hugh Halter is the lead pastor of Adullam, the founder of Missio, and the author of Sacrilege and The Tangible Kingdom. He speaks extensively, encouraging and equipping pastors in incarnational ministry and missional leadership. He and his wife Cheryl live in Denver, Colorado, and have three adult children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781409977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781409971
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is broken up into six sections. The first section, "Incarnation," explores what we mean when we talk about Christ's incarnation and what it means for us to be incarnational as a faith community. The second section, "Reputation," is probably the most helpful section of the book. Here Halter explores the ins and outs of how one goes about being incarnational. A major part of being incarnational is earning a reputation in a community that gives you authority to speak into the deeper issues of people's lives. You do this by avoiding shallow religiosity, planting yourself down in a community long term, working well, and practicing hospitality. Doing these things goes a very long way and actually set us up for having the type of conversations he describes in the third section, "Conversation." As we incarnate God's presence in the world our conversations must be filled with truth, but they must also be filled with grace. We must also learn not to point people to our church or to our religion. We must learn to point people to Jesus first. This means that the name of King Jesus must constantly been on our lips, and we must ooze out the gospel in our conversations. Eventually these conversations lead to a confrontation; the next section is aptly name "Confrontation." It only consists of one chapter, but it's a very important one. It's the chapter that most people are probably waiting for ("when are we going to talk about evangelism!"). Halter makes the important point that this final step - evangelism - is supposed to be a spirit led and inspired moment. He concludes this book with a section titled, "Transformation," where he addresses the issue of conversion without discipleship.

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I like Hugh. I like the book. I enjoyed the a stories and the analogies. I respect the fruit of the labors. My reservation is on how to complete the circle that I agree with Hugh on. I find great encouragement, great advice, and great practice in these pages...yet without consistency in understanding the bible as a whole I am concerned it won't last. As one small example, if the cross is not most important, but the life of Christ, then we have no hope for he finality of what the cross accomplishes which later the author agrees with when he says that we don't invite Jesus, he is the inviter who gives us the grace. Both are needed but life could not have been without the death and resseruction, it's like aging Christmas was more important than Easter. Actually both are wildly important, and Christmas would have been another birthday without the stone being rolled back. And Easter could never have happened without Him coming. So there are some points of the book where I say "yes and amen while nodding constantly" but other points where I said "wait...what, doesn't that negate what I just agreed with" I suppose no book is comprehensive and as far as "Flesh" and practice of grace it hits a great resounding chorus. As far as a manual for a complete way to minister to people, it may not have all the t's crossed. I liked it and so should you.
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If you can get past the tattoos and the bar in the living room you will find a very interesting perspective on the incarnation.
I admit I live in a different culture and though I may enjoy a brew now and then I am holding up on the tattoos although I have plenty of surface area. I mention this at the outset because in much of American culture pastors who drink and have tattoos won't get much of hearing from teetotalers. That would be a shame because there is much in the book to think about.

I think people are more willing to be themselves in a pub then in a church which is one of the lessons we can learn from this book.

As I reviewed my notes I found I had highlighted many passages For example, "People are not pagans to be converted. projects to be preached at, or demographics to be reprogrammed". And "If you want a safe faith you will never really know God because he doesn't hang out in the shallow end much...."

There is one point with which I take issue. This quote is found on page 46, "Jesus did not come to convert people. Nowhere did he ever say that was his goal. What we do see is that his primary desire was to give glory to the Father by revealing his glory...."

I certainly agree that Jesus came to glorify the Father. He is clear about that in John 14-17 but Jesus also says in Luke 19:10 "The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." This sounds like conversion to me. So seeking to convert is not at odds with glorifying God but in fact the way in which Jesus glorifies the Father. This reminds us that incarnation may involve invocation.
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By Corey on March 29, 2014
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Not a bad book if you're looking for semi-relevant anecdotes and down-to-earth quips about living as a Christian in a post-Christian world, but from my perspective it's theologically vacuous and at times descends into a treatise on how to be a "hip" Christian (at one point the author disses visitors to his church who don't seem to want to join in the boisterous social atmosphere among he and his buddies. In other words, introverts beware).
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