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Rich Mullins: A Devotional Biography: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven [Kindle Edition]

James Bryan Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
You Save: $13.00 (87%)

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Book Description

During his life, Rich Mullins challenged the sensibilities of what it means to follow Jesus in today's world, and now in his death, he challenges all to build upon his legacy of joy, compassion, brokenness, unblinking honesty, and wonder of an Awesome God.
Author James Bryan Smith describes this book as a "devotional biography," giving readers an insight into Rich's life, but more importantly, allowing the readers to learn what was most important to Rich - urging people to draw near to God.

Now available in paperback, this new edition features new packaging and two never before published spiritual writings of Rich Mullins, including a poem written two days before his untimely death.

Editorial Reviews


"Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven is the most powerful book I have read in the last five years." -- Brennan Manning

About the Author

James Bryan Smith teaches theology and is chaplain at Friend's University in Wichita, Kansas. His previous books include Embracing the Love of God, A Spiritual Formation Workbook, and Devotional Classics (coauthored with Richard Foster). Jim's deep friendship developed with Rich Mullins over the last seven years of Mullins' life. In fact, while Mullins attended Friend's University, he lived in an attic apartment in the Smiths' home for two years.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1105 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805426353
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (August 1, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OC01RC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Love October 30, 2000
A good friend gave me this book. I cannot think of any gift I have received (except for my salvation) that has been more meaningful. This is a wonderful book. This is a great book. I am grateful to James Bryan Smith for writing it, thankful that Rich Mullins lived it, and I stand in awe of the fact that God the Father truly authored it all long ago.
This book, like the life it describes, is an arrow pointing to heaven. This is not a simple biography. This is no attempt at making a saint out of Rich Mullins. This book is a good long reflection on how God has uniquely acted and spoken through the life of one man.
"An Arrow Pointing To Heaven" is divided up into ten chapters (plus a wonderful introduction by Brennan Manning and an afterword by Rich's brother David). Each chapter centers around a theme that Rich sang or talked about often. The book comes with a CD with ten songs on it. Each chapter is named for a song on the CD. The songs express the theme of the chapter. The songs and themes are:
First Family (about the legacies our families provide), Creed (about the Church), The Love of God (about...the love of God), Boy Like Me/Man Like You (about trusting Jesus), Calling Out Your Name (about God and the beauty of creation), Bound To Come Some Trouble (about the growth found in struggle and pain), My One Thing (about the freedom of the simple life), Growing Young (about sin and temptation), Brother's Keeper (about showing love through our actions), and That Where I Am There You May Also Be (about death).
Each of these chapters taught me some great lessons. This book is life changing. The last three chapters in particular were really moving and challenging to me.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Brennan Manning talks about how a ragamuffin is someone who is honest about themselves and their failings, passionate about being intimate with God and does not conform to the expectations of cultural christianity for the sake of it. Rich Mullins was a ragamuffin ... someone who took the challenge of being intimate with the Father ... impacting and influencing those around him with the possibilities of living a Christ centred life.
This book is great ... it is not just a biography ... nor is Rich Mullins made out to be a "saint". This book is an honest and candid look at a man ... who just wanted to love God and love those around him. It is a challenging read and the reader comes away with a hunger for a deeper walk with Christ.
Reflections on each chapter are included with the intention of guiding the reader into a deeper look at themselves and their relationship with God.
I read this book very quickly because i was excited to have it but I am now going back into it and reading it slowly and thoughtfully ... which is the best way to be impacted by the treasure within.
Buy it!!! The bonus CD is great as well!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone serious about Spiritual Formation September 12, 2000
By A Customer
This is far from traditional biography or hagiography. This book does what all great literature from Christian history has done- points people to God. Brennan Manning's foreword begins "Jesus of Nazareth ruined Rich Mullin's life. And out of the ruins he recreated a ragamuffin of startling originality; no human being even remotely resembles him." Manning ends- "This book deserves to be read and reread. It is a treasure."
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Look at an Amazing Man February 26, 2004
There is no book that I can think of that strikes me harder than An Arrow Pointing to Heaven. I do not read through this book; I cry through it. Granted not every chapter struck me terribly hard, but the majority did. I long to live life with the same passion and intensity as this man. I long to be free to love as he did and experience "the reckless raging fury they call the love of God" as he did.
Smith accurately calls it a devotional biography. It is indeed an explanation of Rich Mullins' life, but it seems almost as if it were written not quite for that purpose primarily. Instead, Smith takes 10 aspects of Rich's life and music that were impacting and powerful and made Rich who he was and displays how those points of truth, beauty, and love played out in the man's life, calling each reader to live with the same vibrancy and desire for God and others. Don't misunderstand; you'll still find a good overview of Rich's life as well as a number of beautiful details, but that almost feels secondary to the drive to urge us to make Rich's life our own.
Which is exactly what Rich would have wanted, I imagine. He wanted people to know the love of God as he had and even more. He was, by his own admission, a ragamuffin, and his desire was to point to his savior, not himself. And that just made his soul that much more beautiful.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Before reading this book, I had heard the name Rich Mullins, but never really followed his life or ministry. After reading the book, I felt like his friend, althought He has been gone and with the Lord many years now. The honesty and depth of spirituality and relationship with the Lord melted my heart as I read truth after truth of a life that spoke the Gospel message. Saint Francis of Assissi once said "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words." Rich lived His life that way. The book comes with a C.D. which I allowed to get into my spirit. The thing that really touched me the most is the way he conveyed the absolute unconditional furious love of God that he has for us his children. I saw a side of the gospel that is so missing in much of our Christian churches and that is the message of Gods Amazing Grace. I could sense the presence of God with me most of the time I was reading the book and would highly recomend this book to anyone on a journey to find God or someone who's been on the road for many years. It will touch your heart, bring tears to your eyes and enlighten your soul. I can't recomend a book any more highly than this one. A must read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I would highly recommend reading this
This is truly the most inspiring book I have ever read when it comes tout Jesus & the bible. I would highly recommend reading this. It will open your eyes to the love of God.
Published 9 hours ago by Gina
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend!
Well written! This was written by someone who knew Rich well and had the families input, making this book authentic.
Published 21 days ago by Laurie Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about Rich Mullins by his friend, James Smith
A great purchase! Rich was a masterful songwriter and his music stays with us. His lyrics can be deep but Rich was a deep person. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jake H.
5.0 out of 5 stars on the journey
love reading these wise and inspiring words to aid me in my journey
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth D. Retallack
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Mullins: A Devotional Bio
I read this book after watching "Ragamuffin", the movie. I listened to Rich's music before he died and loved it all. I was so stunned when he died. I remember when it happened. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rebecca Gillikin
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. Must read.
Amazing insight of who Rich Mullins was by retelling his words and the words of those who knew him. I read this book slowly because I knew I wanted to savor and pray about each... Read more
Published 1 month ago by max
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
My favorite artist! A beautiful account of his life.
Published 1 month ago by Mela C.
4.0 out of 5 stars moving and challenging
Moving and challenging. and a great tribute to Rich Mullins. More biography than devotional.
Published 1 month ago by FamilyTrekdotorg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great. Read love it.
Published 1 month ago by ronald cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational story!
Inspirational story!
Published 2 months ago by classyweb
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More About the Author

James Bryan Smith (M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, D.Min., Fuller Seminary) is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, KS and a writer and speaker in the area of Christian spiritual formation. He also serves as the director of the Christian Spiritual Formation Institute at Friends University.

A founding member of Richard J. Foster's spiritual renewal ministry, Renovaré Smith is an ordained United Methodist Church minister and has served in various capacities in local churches. Smith is also the author of A Spiritual Formation Workbook, Devotional Classics (with Richard Foster), Embracing the Love of God, Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven and Room of Marvels.

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