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Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think? Kindle Edition
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|Length: 257 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Jonathan Martin is a Pentecostal (Church of God) pastor, and founder of an interesting church in North Carolina called Renovatus, which advertises itself as a church for "liars, dreamers and misfits" under renovation by Jesus. If you are pentecostal/charismatic adverse, be forewarned that some of that practice and atmosphere is found in this book, particularly in Martin's reminiscences of childhood experiences at pentecostal camp meetings. However, if you can get past that, there is a lot in this book that any evangelical Christian can benefit from.
The thesis of the book is that Jesus was uniquely conscious of His status as the beloved Son of God, but that we also have similar derivative status by our redemption and adoption as sons & daughters of the Father. Jesus herd the voice of the Father at His baptism calling Him "My Beloved Son," and never forgot that voice, even in the immediate crises of His desert temptations, all the way through Gethsemane and the cross. Secure in the knowledge of His identity and "belovedness," Jesus was free to love others unconditionally. Jesus heard the voice, knew His identity ....and never forgot.
Martin goes on to say that many Christians have also heard that voice of love and acceptance in Christ Our problem, however, is that we soon forget! He says that if we can learn to know and believe our identity as beloved and accepted in Christ, we too can be freed from the need to present phony fronts to the world around us, and be free to love and accept others as Jesus did. Following Jesus is not just WWJD (What would Jesus Do) but who did Jesus know He was, and do I also now know my identity as a beloved child of God. Then, even as Jesus' wounds on the cross became symbols of victory and glory, our personal spiritual and psychological wounds can become, not things of shame to hide, but things to glory in as symbols of His victory in us, and tools of Christ's work through us to free others. That is what makes Jesus the "prototype," or to use a more Scriptural term, the author and finisher of our faith.
I'm not going true justice to the book in this brief summary. Get and read the book. I do not think you will be disappointed.
When I read Prototype, I found a kindred spirit. I cried many times as I was touched by the familiar as well as the should-be-familiar. This is not the type of book that seeks to make you feel some sort of emotion-driven conviction, it is instead, an invitation. Speaking in a whisper, the boy on the bike beckons us to come alongside. To dream, to do and to love all people in the process. His is a genuinely touching and yet powerful presentation of Jesus, our prototype.
Jonathan, thank you for reminding me of who I really am and who the Father has called me to be. If ever we meet, you'll know me right off, I'll be the girl in the Wonderwoman bathing suit. Now I must go, my invisible plane awaits. ;)