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The Art of Being You: How to Live as God's Masterpiece Hardcover – December 13, 2010
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About the Author
Bob Kilpatrick is the composer of the classic worship songs In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified, Won By One, Ask Of Me (Here Am I) and I Will Not Be Ashamed, and the author of three books. His songs have been used by every major Christian record company on millions of CDs and songbooks. He has sung and spoken in churches, conferences and festivals on every continent. Among the folks he's ministered with are Bill Johnson, Lincoln Brewster, Phil Keaggy, Dr. Jack Hayford, Anne Graham Lotz and Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie. He is also the pastor of The Tree Christian Fellowship in Santa Rosa, California. He and his wife, Cindy, have five grown children and live in Fair Oaks, California.
Joel Kilpatrick is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has been featured in Time magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, CBS Radio, the Dallas Morning News and dozens of newspapers and magazines. He has authored and ghostwritten more than 40 books, including a New York Times bestseller. He has reported from disaster zones and civil wars in seventeen countries, and received numerous prizes for writing and reporting.
Kilpatrick has worked with many leading ministries including Rick Warren, Michael Hyatt, TBN, Joni & Friends, Nancy Alcorn, Convoy of Hope, the Dream Center and more.
Kilpatrick founded LarkNews.com, the world’s leading religion satire website which won the Dove award for humor (officially the Grady Nutt Humor Award) from the Gospel Music Association in 2005. He has won numerous awards for humor and reporting from the Evangelical Press Association. He was profiled in Time magazine, Christianity Today and on NPR, and has been featured twice in USA Today. LarkNews enjoys millions of visitors. Kilpatrick earned an MS degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 1995. He lives in southern California with his wife and five children.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that God acted decisively in the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection to justify sin-corrupted humanity, is so astounding that people regard it as scandalous and/or foolishness. Why? Because, the Apostle Paul explains, the message cannot be comprehended or apprehended merely by human reasoning. And yet, as Bob and Joel Kilpatrick assert, the paradigm for most Christian thinking and behavior is human logic, which they label, "Math." Math is very good for helping us understand and function in the material world, but is entirely inadequate (though not unnecessary) for living transcendently with God. "Math doesn't create, it arranges." (p.15)
God is a creator, an artist. Thus art, not logic, is the proper paradigm for perceiving what God is doing in our lives and why. The Kilpatricks assert that God is not the Master Mechanic and we are not problems to be diagnosed and fixed. Rather each of us is seen by God as his work of art in progress. While math can define what is (2+2=4), "Artists make something that never was before." (p.17) For example: Math equates, Art creates; Math brings order out of chaos, Art makes beauty out of the order; Justice is Math, Mercy is Art; Devotions are Math, Devotion is Art. (pp. 14 - 15)
With masterful strokes of illustration from the realms of music, painting and sculpture The Art of Being You guides the reader through the art of loving relationships, spiritual disciplines, sharing our faith, personal limitations, sacrifice, pain, and how to be great art.
Perhaps one might think, "I've already read a stack of books about relationships/spiritual disciplines/witnessing/sacrifice. What can this book possible say that hasn't already been said?" Let me say with confidence that unless the reader is familiar with Dorothy L. Sayers' book "The Mind of the Maker" (to which the Kilpatricks give attributution) almost everything in this book will be fresh and refreshing. Though the book is small it is not lightweight. If you're looking for moralistic therapeutic deism this isn't for you.
True to its theme, the book is a masterpiece of writing that expresses precisely the point with not a single superfluous word. Yet the book is so rich in intellectual and spiritual stimulation that this reader found himself frequently sitting back to savor an idea; allowing it to soak into and challenge a variety of suppositions. It was rather like eating a rich piece of cheesecake and letting each bite melt in my mouth and stimulate every single taste bud. Cheesecake won't change your life, but this book could. I know it has changed mine.
The main point the authors want to make is that God doesn't see us so much as projects to be "fixed," but rather new creations..works of art, "masterpieces."
One of the best parts of the book starts on page 54, FORGIVENESS AS ART. Another great section is the one that talks about the absurdity of life (pg 201-206.)
Throughout the book the authors relate stories about Michelangelo, DaVinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso and Paul Gaugin. Even those of us with no artistic talent or background can easily enjoy these stories and see how well the subject of art relates to how God sees us, His creation.
Great book with a great subject. Highly recommended.
In each chapter Kilpatrick presents different thoughts and anecdotes (personal and historical) in exploration of that theme. He masterfully demonstrates his assertion that "any idea worth exploring...has to be broken down in to various facets to be fully realized." Each facet (salvation, anti-art, relationships, spiritual disciplines, sharing our faith, personal limitation, sacrifice, pain, how to be great art, and redemption) reads as easily as a blog post without sacrificing the depth and seriousness the topic deserves. While it's clear Kilpatrick is passionate about his subject, I was struck by how un-preachy the book felt. He takes a tone of relaxed candor that can only come from the pen of a seasoned man of faith and art.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in:
1) An exploration of the Biblical metaphor of people as God's "handiwork" (Eph 2:10)
2) Historical anecdotes about Michelangelo and da Vinci (including one about an exciting mural-off!)
3) Tips for improving your own art
4) Tips for improving your relationship with God