I wanted to post this by June 1, but other things got prioritized. I finished the book a week or more ago and loved it a lot. I have to admit that Mark Scandrette (an emerging missioner who lives in San Francisco - which is the city my heart lives in...) sent me per-release copy for free and asked me to blog on it before June 1. So, I'm a let down there, but this book is mosdef not.
If this book is like anything, it's like a dirtier (that's good) version of velvet elvis. Mark's emerging is taking place in a grittier, urban setting, which gives this book such a great flavour and a richness that is absent in the suburban tales of velvet elvis. Sure, the theology and praxis is challenging and progressive in each, but velvet elvis is cute and soul graffiti has character.
Anyways - I love that I got to read this book and had a tough time putting down - it has great stories and great movements that create a longing for more - just the way that life in Jesus is supposed to. Here's some quotes I loved (the pages may be off, the store edition is a hard cover book and mine is a pre-release paper back, sorry):
p.2 "I even hear ministers and leaders lamenting, 'I don't know if I can be the kind of pastor or priest I am expected to be and an authentic follower of Jesus at the same time."
p.8 "Jesus came offering the propaganda of hope."
p.21 "...the ghost of Christ-conciousness."
p.27 "They were, it seems, haunted by God and by 'the church' and wished to do whatever it took to simply be left alone."
p.32 "Crowds are easliy impressed but can auickly become disgruntled. His real purpose, it seems, was to identify people from the crowd who might have the courage to play in the ways of the kingdom, to walk with him."
p.40 "Sometimes we learn to do things well by first having the courage to do them badly."
p.67 "What exactly is your role in the neighborhood?"
p.97 "Phenonemenological approaches to spirituality often deny or minimize the goodness revealed in the natural world, relying instead on estatic experiences and emotional peaks as confirmation of God's love. While heightened reliious experiences need not be opposed, they are often sought when we fail to embrace all of life as sacred."
p.144 "Some of us want a king without a kingdom - a God who is far away but ready to swoop in at the last moment to save us out of this place. And some of us want a kingdom without a king - and Earth home where justice, order and beauty reign without divine sovereignty or moral responsibility."