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This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God Paperback – September 30, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick McKinley is lead pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland , Oregon . He's a pretty funny guy who cares a lot about the gospel of Jesus. His passion to see the church become a force of Jesus' love in society motivates him to write books, serve as a pastor, and speak around the country. Rick has a beautiful wife, Jeanne, and four amazing kids.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590525019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590525012
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick McKinley is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon. Rick and his wife, Jeanne, live with their four children and one dog named Baxter in Portland. He earned his Doctorate at Gordon Conwell Seminary and is on faculty at Multnomah Seminary where he teaches applied theology.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Drew B. Moser on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just finished This Beautiful Mess, by Rick McKinley. The book is set to come out in a few days, but they had advanced copies available at the Catalyst Conference. I snagged one. I'm glad I did.

The book is basically Rick's thoughts on the kingdom, with a heavy dose of real-life experience of kingdom living at his Portland church, Imago Dei.

If you enjoyed McLaren's The Secret Messages of Jesus, then you'll love this book. McLaren did a great job of exploring the theology of the kingdom. He opened up some new doors in how we think and view the kingdom. McKinley does a fantastic job of helping the reader live the kingdom. Practically. Incarnationally. Biblically.

(And both authors' last names start with 'Mc'. Coincidence? Maybe I should change my name to 'McMoser' and write a book?)

This Beautiful Mess is an open, sincere, and passionate look at living life with a kingdom mission. I'd highly recommend it. Rick doesn't take the opportunity to boast about how wonderful his church is. Rather, he simply tries to tell the story of Imago Dei's journey to living with a missional, kingdom perspective.

A few quotes, out of context, for your provocation:

* "We take the 'Jesus is our Savior' message home like a really good story, but Jesus as King has no place in our lives."

* "When I became a Christ follower, the sad truth is that I transferred Christ into my kingdom, into the context of my life."

Go buy the book. It will be $12 and a few hours well spent.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Dahl VINE VOICE on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's rare that I read a book in bed until 3:00AM simply because I am invigorated and inspired by the author to such a degree that sleep becomes irrelevant. That's the effect this book had on me. This guy is onto something. So are those he hangs with. They live it. Rick writes, "One of the biggest challenges to following Jesus into His kingdom is not a lack of direction but a lack of desire. Most of us really don't want to do it." (p.50). When you're done with this book, you will be filled with the desire to "move out." Buy This Book! Then act upon what Rick says.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Holmes on January 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Along with A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God" and J.G. Marking's, "A Voice Is Calling," McKinley's work ranks at the very top of contemporary works that help us enter into the presence of God in our daily lives.

This book does a wonderful job of clearly stating and highlighting just what "The Kingdom of God" really means for us day-to-day. The best part, though, is McKinley's clear and concise way of showing how we can actually pursue the presence of God in tangible, applicable ways.

Along with the aforementioned, "A Voice Is Calling," no other book can help any small group or follower looking to go deeper genuinely encounter the life-changing event that is entering into the presence of God.

Highly recommended for bible study or personal devotion.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Hardaway on October 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rick hits the target perfectly. How to make your faith real, but not in a 4 step plan, but in principles that can translate into any age group. He validates his ideas both with scriptures and the real life examples from his church. It's not just theory. It is incarnational truth explained. And God is glorified in the process. Instead of Christians hiding from the world, why not engage it in a way that is meaningful, and honors Christ's gospel. Rick totally gets it.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tom Ward on January 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Occasionally a book comes along that you want everyone you know to read, a hopeful, constructive, visionary tome that's imbued with an uncanny ability to incite redemptive creativity and mission. Books like these are rare, a publishing anomaly, read mainly by those who are tired of the self-help pablum that populates the "Christian Living" section at their local bookstore. This growing cadre of discerning readers must have been blinking on Rick McKinley's literary radar when he sat down to write This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God. He's clearly speaking to and for a segment of the Church that has enthusiastically latched on to the Jesus of the Gospels.

Far from being slick or pretentious, inaccesible or trite, Rick's infectious prose radiates a profound sincerity. He writes like an explorer who's found something of inestimable worth and can't wait to share his discovery with the rest of the world. It's apparent that in Rick's city (Portland, OR) something beautiful has been unearthed, and it's changing the way his church (Imago Dei Community) interacts with God's world. Rick describes this newfound treasure as the kingdom of God and his unbridled enthusiasm for it is contagious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chad Davies on August 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
In his book, This Beautiful Mess, Pastor Rick McKinley shares his thought about what it might be like to live a faith that acknowledges that the "Kingdom of God" that Jesus proclaimed is not just something for the future but is here, in this messy and broken world, right now. In boiling down a good deal of complex theological thought into prose that is accessible to the average reader, McKinley shows how it is possible to live a life of faith in a way that moves beyond a "Jesus is coming back someday to take me home" sort of mentality to see God's saving work in our lives and our world right now.

There are two places where I felt the book spoke most clearly and movingly. The first was in the chapter ending "Voices" sections where the poetry and writings of individuals associated with McKinley's Imago Dei community are shared with the reader to look into the messy but profound lives of people trying to live kingdom lives. The other portion of the book that seemed to most clearly speak of this were the four or so chapters that form the third section of the book. In this section, McKinley discusses several specific applications of kingdom living by sharing the work of those who see the reality of God's inbreaking grace in this present world. These stories are powerfully encouraging.

In closing, I would recommend This Beautiful Mess to any person of faith who wants to see what Jesus might have meant when He said that "the Kingdom of God IS like.." McKinley's writing bridges between the academic discussions of an "Already, Not Yet" Kingdom and what it looks like to live in a way that knows the reality of God and His love in today's messy creation.
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