- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Baker Books (May 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801018951
- ISBN-13: 978-0801018954
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can't Get Their Act Together Paperback – May 2, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Too many discipleship books are written for perfect people who know all the right Sunday school answers.
This book is for the rest of us--people who screw up, people who are weary, people who are wondering if it's safe to say what they're really thinking. With incisive wit, warm humor, and moving stories, Jared Wilson shows us how the gospel actually works through us and in us, even when we can't get our act together. The result is a faith that weathers storms, lifts burdens, and deepens our friendship with God.
"Few things steal vitality and life in Christ like forgetting that we are human. Jared does a great job, with his humorous yet serious style, reminding us of God's perfection in the midst of our inconsistencies, fears, and falls. The grace of God found in this book will encourage and remind the saint that there is only One who is perfect--and that perfection is enough for all who believe on the name of Jesus."--Matt Chandler, lead teaching pastor of The Village Church
"Jared ties everything he has to say about being and loving disciples to the realities of what Jesus has already done. And that, dear friends, is what sets this wonderful book apart from all the others."--Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, counselor and speaker; author of Because He Loves Me
"Wilson takes our idea of discipleship--you know, the list of things we need to do to be a perfectly obedient Christian--and turns it on its head. Discipleship is not about our to-do lists; it's about the glorious gospel. Wilson helps us refocus so that our obedience is no longer about us."--Trillia Newbell, author of Enjoy, Fear and Faith, and United
Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and managing editor of For the Church. He is the author of numerous books, including Unparalleled, The Story of Everything, The Prodigal Church, and Gospel Wakefulness. His blog, The Gospel-Driven Church, is hosted by the Gospel Coalition, and he speaks at numerous churches and conferences throughout the year.
About the Author
Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and managing editor of For the Church, Midwestern's site for gospel-centered resources. He is the author of several books, including Unparalleled, The Story of Everything, The Wonder-Working God, The Prodigal Church, and Gospel Wakefulness. His writing has appeared in Tabletalk, Rev! magazine, Exponential's Leadership Learnings, Pulpit Helps magazine, and numerous other publications. His blog, The Gospel-Driven Church, is hosted by the Gospel Coalition, and he speaks at numerous churches and conferences throughout the year. Wilson lives in Kansas City.
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Top customer reviews
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The day I received the book in the mail, I read it voraciously from cover to cover.
I would say that Jared Wilson is the voice of my generation - Generation X. He writes with vulnerability, and asks questions that touch at the pulse of the 30s and 40s crowd with authenticity. "How about a book on discipleship for the guy or gal sitting there in small group always wondering if it's safe to say what they are thinking? For the sake of the cut-ups, the screwups, the tired and the torn-up, the weary and the wounded--how about we demistify discipleship?" He has gotten to the heart of a generation that no longer wants to just give Sunday school answers at small group, and attend potlucks at church in the fellowship hall. He speaks to real, broken people, who have real problems, and genuinely desire growth in Christ in an authentic community of believers.
We are all seeking to know and love Christ more. When we can genuinely aproach one another with our true broken selves, then we can all just be broken sinners before a gracious Heavenly Father and create real friendships/fellowship in Christ. And we can assure each other that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We should not be afraid to speak of our problems to others, and confess our sins to fellow believers, and seek out true discipleship and community.
Thank you, Jared C. Wilson. This is a book that I plan to read again and again.
This book excels exactly where so many books fall short. Wilson isn't interested in simply keeping the Christian busy with new activities that will help them move up to the Varsity squad of disciples, nor does he get caught up in the machinery of discipleship as if it's about packaging people on an assembly line (mix in a little discipline, a little doctrine, a good curriculum, a mentoring relationship, and then they should be good to go). What I appreciated most about this book, and why I'll recommend it, is that it's the only discipleship book I've come across where the focus isn't on becoming a super-strong Christian but the focus is on how Jesus and his grace can be made big in your weakness and imperfection. Many of the discipleship books I've read deal almost solely with the end-goal or the means, but they miss what we've actually been called to be and how that fleshes itself out in the life of someone who is simultaneously growing and failing (saint and sinner). The book is designed to help mature and includes sections with practical counsel for doing so, but overall it's more about the big picture of what the long journey of discipleship is: imperfect disciples striving to know, love, and follow a perfect Savior.
Would this be the primary book I'd use to lead a class or ministry on discipleship? Maybe, but probably not. Would this be the first book I'd use to help a struggling Christian (read: normal Christian) learn that God's grace and strength is the real engine of discipleship, and intimacy with Christ is the destination? Yes. Each time I put down the book--which was often because I read it in sittings desperately hoping our new baby would fall asleep--I was thankful for the breath of fresh air in remembering that discipleship really can be as simple as learning to rest on Jesus as he carries me along.
For those who've read Wilson's books, you'll recognize his trademark conversational style, guyish humor, sharp pen with vivid illustrations, and gospel-centered theology. It's in many ways very similar to Gospel Wakefulness in the themes it covers, but of all Wilson's books this one is the most gritty, honest, and vulnerable. If discipleship includes the relational element of one believer bringing others along with him, this book feels as if Wilson is teaching us as friends across the table, sharing what he's learned by experience in the last decade in the church, in good times, and in the gutter.
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