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Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others through the Eyes of Jesus Hardcover – February 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

What do you see when you look at the imperfect people around you? What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you tend to notice faults, failures, and moral shortcomings most? Or do you see the potential that God said was worth dying for, the Masterpiece hidden beneath the mud of sin in every person?

In this book, John Burke shares powerful lessons gleaned from every encounter Jesus had, challenging us to consider whether our attitudes and actions resemble Jesus or the Pharisees as we encounter messy people. Burke helps ordinary Christ-followers prepare in attitude and action to become God's Masterpiece and restore the messy world around them--just like Jesus did. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Imperfect people are the only ones who change the world

Why were "sinners" so attracted to Jesus yet repelled by the religious? It had everything to do with the heart of Jesus. They sensed that Jesus was for them--not against them. Do the broken people in our lives feel such an attraction to us? Or do we unwittingly repel them by expecting them to clean themselves up a little before we can accept them? In other words, do our hearts reveal the heart of God or subtly reflect the heart of the Pharisees?

Through an engaging study of Jesus' encounters with imperfect people, combined with real-life stories of ordinary people having Christlike impact, this book will inspire you to love the messy people around you--and the one staring back in the mirror--with Christ's unshockable love.

"Beneath the surface of every broken person, there is a work of art waiting to be revealed. This book shows us how."--Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker

"I wish all believers loved people who are far from God like John Burke does. Unshockable Love reminds us of our desperate need to join Jesus in the messy work of life-on-life discipleship."--Ed Stetzer, www.edstetzer.com, author of Subversive Kingdom

"John is a man who not only knows Jesus, but knows that Jesus really saves and redeems broken people and makes them trophies of his grace."--Alan Hirsch, author, activist, dreamer, www.alanhirsch.org


John Burke is the author of No Perfect People Allowed and Soul Revolution, and the lead pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas, which he and his wife, Kathy, founded in 1998. Since then, Gateway has grown to over 4,500 members, made up mostly of unchurched people who began actively following Christ at Gateway.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 1.2.2013 edition (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801015251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801015250
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Burke and his wife, Kathy, founded Gateway Church in Austin, Texas, in 1998. Since then, Gateway has grown to over 3,000 people, 70 percent of whom are in their twenties and thirties, and consists mostly of unchurched people who began actively following Christ at Gateway. Burke is also the author of No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church.

Customer Reviews

A great reminder of how to really see people like Jesus sees them.
Amazon Customer
Christians are supposed to be examples of Christ's love in the world, but that is hardly the perception to the post-Christian generation.
Atxtiff
In Unshockable Love, Pastor John Burke tells story after story of imperfect people showing others the way to Jesus.
ChooseWisely

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Becky Laswell on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was privileged to read an advance copy of The Mud and the Masterpiece by pastor John Burke. Full disclosure up-front: I've known John for more than a decade and worked directly for him for several years. I have a lot of respect for him and want to write an honest review of his latest book.

There are many things Burke values in ministry, but two in particular shine in this book: valuing life-change in real people and having a solid understanding of Scripture. This book delivers healthy doses of both of those in story form: stories of real people (messy people like your neighbor, coworker, or even yourself) and Gospel-based stories of real people of Jesus' day.

The book is divided into two parts, which I'll cover differently.

Part 1 attempts to help Christians evaluate whether their attitude towards others is more in line with how Jesus acted or how the Pharisees acted. Focusing on a study of how Jesus interacted (as recorded in the Gospels) and illustrated by a healthy dose of stories of real people of Gateway Church & elsewhere, Burke seeks to help Christians reflect on their own attitudes. Using the example of finding an old-master painting caked in mud, the book helps us realize that our view of others is often obscured by their outward traits, rather than seeing inside to reflect the Image of God.

Part 1 on it's own deserves about 4.5 stars, not quite perfect due to two small criticisms. First, the chapters seem repetitious. Second, it can feel that the stories focus too much on the sensational (drugs, sexual issues, etc.) rather than less-obvious "mud" that still gets in the way of seeing God at work in others (workaholism, perfectionism, etc.). Overall, those are small complaints and Part 1 would be a worthwhile read for most Christians I know.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Warden on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
OK...I'm not exaggerating in what I'm about to say.

I believe Mud and the Masterpiece is one of the most important books for Christians ~ and especially Christian leaders ~ to be written in decades. As Burke himself points out, "Churches and Christians today are in crisis and don't even know it," and in Mud and the Masterpiece, Burke nails the core issue in the Church that almost nobody is talking about, but that has infected us to such a degree as to render us largely impotent in our efforts to inspire the world toward God.

But Burke does more than just identify the problem, he presents a solution. And it's a good one!

It is the deep wish and prayer of my heart that Christians everywhere ~ and especially Christian leaders ~ read this book and are so profoundly impacted that the presence and voice of God's people in the world are forever changed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Reid on February 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was privileged to read an advance copy of this book, although I've now purchased it. John Burke has been my pastor and friend for 14 years, and this is his third book.

In reading all three of Burke's books, it's clear that John's writing style has evolved and is now more polished. I think the premise of his latest book -- that all followers of Christ can easily fall into "holier than thou" Pharisaical thinking -- is right on target and is a huge part of the reasons that non-believers think we're full of crap. It's because we are.

I don't know that there is a lot of new ground here, but John still made me think. He states that people (well, sinners) were so attracted to Jesus because they could tell he cared about them, and that if we truly care about others and seek to learn about them, we'll begin to be more like Jesus than like the religious leaders of his day. Not a huge revelation, but John states it well, and it's still something that every believer should check their attitude against.

There are points during which the editing could be a little tighter; the book feels a little repetitive in nature. This in no way takes anything from the importance of the message, but there were a couple of spots in which I wished Burke would move along to the next topic.

Overall, I find this a worthwhile read for any believer, particularly anyone who wants to authentically share their faith with others. And if you're not a believer, you can read this and call us on our crap.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By k crack on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"14% of Christians resemble Jesus in thoughts and works. Do you?"

John's newest book is my favorite of his. I have been a church goer for years, a Christian for less of that time, and reading this book I'm realizing that even my "Christian" years have been tainted with the things skeptics dislike.

For Christ followers, we have hurt and not helped. Mud and the Masterpiece has caught me in my tracks and opened my eyes to see beyond the mud.

If you are a skeptic, please forgive me. Please forgive us. Consider this a fresh look at why we mean well and yet fall into all the stereotypical traps. Give John a chance to plead our case in this remarkable look at how Christians forget that we are unique people who are indeed Masterpieces.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tina Bortels on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I grew up knowing God as my personal savior, but I guess over the years my heart really hardened towards certain people. Sad but true. Reading this book really opened my eyes to that fact, and tho it's a slow process, I know my heart is changing and I hope that I can be the face of Jesus to those whom certainly didn't see that from me before.
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