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Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love Paperback – June 27, 2011
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"In Practicing the Way of Jesus Mark Scandrette has brought together a remarkable array of stories, ideas and practical exercises that will enable us all to engage our faith more holistically. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a more kingdom-focused, justice-oriented approach to spiritual formation." (Christine Sine, author, activist and executive director of Mustard Seed Associates)
"This book provides something we urgently need today: a practice-based approach to spiritual formation. It is an honest account of someone, and several someones, who actually tried to do the things Jesus taught us to do. This book is inspiring because it shows a willingness to take risks, and is honest at the same time. Focusing on practice can tend toward legalism, but Mark avoids any hint of legalism by stressing the inner character over the outer action and, as he puts it so beautifully, not merely engaging in pious practices, but 'learning to dance to God's song.' In an age when we talk more about spirituality than we practice it, this book will provide us a healthy balance. It is a much-needed approach to Christian formation for the current generation and beyond." (James Bryan Smith, author of The Apprentice Series)
"We often think that spiritual formation is following the way of Jesus and abiding 'in' him. However, the author helps us to see that spiritual formation is to live 'out' the way of Jesus who abides in us. Our ultimate goal of spiritual formation is to be more like Jesus through our spiritual exercises and practices. This practical manual of spiritual formation will help you to be a little Jesus." (Rev. Joshua Choonmin Kang, author, Scripture by Heart and Deep-Rooted in Christ, and senior pastor, New Life Vision Church, Los Angeles, California)
"I am convinced that God's good news spreads best, not through force, but through fascination. Mark Scandrette is fascinating. He lives with imagination and beauty. He is a poet and artist. But he is not just about creative thinking; he is about creative living. His book is an invitation to love creatively and recklessly, so that we might do something to interrupt the status quo, surprise the world with God's goodness and fascinate the world with grace." (Shane Claiborne, author, preacher, activist and recovering sinner, www.thesimpleway.org)
"It has been a long time since I was this stirred and humbled by a book. Mark Scandrette is a voice for all who are 'sensing a pull towards a spirituality that is more holistic, integrative and socially engaged.' This inspiring leader of an intentional community gives me deep hope for the future. Reading this book I felt personally moved to be more intentional about living my life the way Jesus would live my life if he were me." (Gary W. Moon, Ph.D., Vice President and Chair of Integration, Richmont Graduate University, and author of Apprenticeship with Jesus)
"Wow. A beatnik Tolstoy who makes 'overcoming temptation' seem like a potentially playful enterprise. This book is full of examples of how a community might embody faith. It's immensely practical and inspiring." (Debbie Blue, author of Sensual Orthodoxy and From Stone to Living Word)
"Mark Scandrette has been a great inspiration to me for years now. In his latest book he gave me goose bumps just thinking about the possibilities that could arise if a group of people really did find a space where they could work out the vision and teachings of Jesus together in real life. Practical, wise, thoughtful and grace-filled, this book is a gift." (Michael Frost, author, Exiles, ReJesus and The Faith of Leap (with Alan Hirsch))
"Mark Scandrette is better than most in helping us move our faith from a thought to a lifestyle. In a magnetic and compelling way, he offers us an irresistible invitation to open our lives to the many ways in which we can follow Jesus. Reading about his 'experiments' in faith makes you close the book and think, 'I can do this! I want to do this!'" (Nancy Ortberg, author of Looking for God: An Unexpected Journey Through Tattoos, Tofu and Pronouns)
'I am convinced that God's good news spreads best, not through force, but through fascination. Mark Scandrette is fascinating. He lives with imagination and beauty. He is a poet and artist. But he is not just about creative thinking, he is about creative living. His book is an invitation to love creatively and recklessly, so that we might do something to interrupt the status quo, surprise the world with God's goodness and fascinate the world with grace.'
—Shane Claiborne, author, preacher, activist and recovering sinner, www.thesimpleway.org
'It has been a long time since I was this stirred and humbled by a book. Mark Scandrette is a voice for all who are 'sensing a pull towards a spirituality that is more holistic, integrative and socially engaged.' This inspiring leader of an intentional community gives me deep hope for the future. Reading this book I felt personally moved to be more intentional about living my life the way Jesus would live my life if he were me.'
—Gary W. Moon, Ph.D., Vice President and Chair of Integration, Richmont Graduate University, and author of Apprenticeship with Jesus
'Mark Scandrette is better than most in helping us move our faith from a thought to a lifestyle. In a magnetic and compelling way, he offers us an irresistible invitation to open our lives to the many ways in which we can follow Jesus. Reading about his 'experiments' in faith makes you close the book and think, 'I can do this! I want to do this!''
—Nancy Ortberg, author of Looking for God: An Unexpected Journey Through Tattoos, Tofu and Pronouns
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I remind myself of this story frequently, because it reminds me of something obvious that I nevertheless missed for most of my life: Christianity is a set of practices. Like the other Eastern religions of the time, Jesus intended to lead people into a life that put into practice his teachings. He called people to `follow' him, even more in his deeds than in his words. He promised salvation not to those who gave ascent to his teachings, but to those who did what he said. In my years of pondering this, I've come to wish we possessed a term like `practicing Christian' to underscore the importance of this oft-ignored truth.
Mark Scandrette's new book Practicing the Way of Jesus put this issue front-and-center for me. In both his words and in the actions that he describes, Mark is a person who puts Jesus` teachings into practice. And in so doing, he sidesteps many of the trappings of the folk-religion that passes as Christianity, and many of the theological debates that inoculate us against the power for life transformation that Jesus offers.Read more ›
With a masterful blend of high-level inspiration and on-the-ground how-tos, Mark Scandrette invites the reader to live fully into the Kingdom of Love. Unlike many books that focus either on big-picture theory or on specific practices, "Practicing..." effectively portrays the end goal (following the ways of the Rabbi Jesus) and then also takes us through very specific steps along the way. Especially helpful are the continual reminders that transformation happens best within community, and the concrete suggestions for communities working together to develop formative practices.
Don't expect to read this book and then shelve it with your other favorites. It's a book that begs to be shared around, referred back to, and worn to tatters. It's a companion guide to an active pursuit of God's ways, and it will challenge you to do a lot more than simply read.
This is a "first person account" book. And just as the "EVANGELISM EXPLOSION" program taught us many years ago that "evangelism is more caught than taught", so today this book reminds us that the way of Jesus must be practiced to be understood. And here also we are reminded that in our holistically-oriented culture today, skeptical people are curious to see whether Christian belief and practice actually make a difference in the character of a person's life.
It is a practical approach to spiritual formation that is serious about Scripture, action-focused, communal, experiential, and connected to real world challenges and opportunities. I have served the Lord for over 50 years of ministry with the Baptist General Conference and for about the last 20 years I have had the privilege of knowing personally Mark Scandrette and his family and of witnessing this ministry first hand. In that light I can assure you that this book is a "first person account", it is indeed a true and accurate description of the daily life and ministry of Mark and his family. Mark has not only written the words he shares with you here, he lives them.
Rev. Robert M. Boyd - Director of Church and Pastoral Vitality
Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference, St. Paul, MN 55112
One thing that sets this book apart is the beauty and imagination of Mark's stories and observations paired with incredibly practical suggestions and tips for leading groups of people in what the book calls a "Jesus Dojo", a group of people coming together to take action in response to the teachings of Jesus. Many groups of people interested in the teachings of Jesus have flirted with the idea of gathering as small communities of people, but many of these groups quickly fade for a variety of reasons. The author has gathered people to follow Jesus for many years and can help other leaders avoid pitfalls and obstacles to real spiritual formation in community. The book covers a variety of ways that groups can function as they take on communal"experiments" in following Jesus, with ideas for leadership, planning and execution.
Someone wrote recently that Mark Scandrette is Dallas Willard and Shane Claiborne put together in a blender. It's a witty and fair comparison, but Mark has his own unique voice that should be heard. May we listen to this poetic voice mixed with the street cred of someone who is constantly taking his own risks to follow the way of love, the way of Jesus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic for discovering how to better follow Jesus both individually and corporately. Love it.Published 1 month ago by JParker
Interesting thoughts onl living where you will make a good difference for God, even though it may put you our of your comfort zone.Published 14 months ago by Florence Hunnicutt
Scandrette encourages us to begin doing experiments in living the way of Jesus in order to experience the kingdom of love. I like to think of it as practicing. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Chad R. Schuitema
Plenty of good ideas, providing individuals and church leaders guidance in incorporating the teaching of Jesus into the believer's everyday life.Published on January 16, 2014 by Shayne Looper
I loved how hands on this book is in providing exercises and ideas for individuals and groups to participate in. Read morePublished on October 21, 2013 by Taylor Boeyink
Mark Scandrette puts a spin on WWJD -- What Would Jesus Do -- by doing it! Taking the sayings of Jesus, Scandrette puts Jesus words into action -- feeding the hungry, clothing the... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Patsy Carlberg