|Being Jesus In Nashville by Jim Palmer|
This is not Jim Palmer the baseball player for those of you who are sports fans. This is Jim Palmer the former pastor who has been through hell and back. It is his story that I really connect with as we have so many things in common. I was the child of alcholic parents his mother was a alcoholic. He made it out through faith in Jesus so did I. He is a runner so was I, knees wore out. Jim is a cyclist who has done century rides so have I. He lost a wife to divorce I lost a wife to death not a lot of difference there. I like this guy. I relate to this man. I like the way he writes except for the Author's Note, Prologue and Introduction. Maybe he is right to understand those three sections you may have had to have read his other books. I have not. They seemed condensing to me. I did not get it and I like the parts that come before the book normally and always read them. But I committed to reading this book and so read it all the way through on my ipad which I loved doing. I still love paper more through.
Timothy Keller said or wrote I can't remember which that Christianity is a diamond with many facets each one beautiful in and of itself but none of them is the whole diamond. Jim has hit on a important facet of faith that Jesus was human and he was just like me and I am just like him. Jim also has clearly said that Jesus releases us to grow. Jesus wants us to grow. Both of these emphasis are important and timely.
What I love Jim to admit is that there is a law of contridiction. Jesus is both human and divine. He hints at this briefly near the end of the book where he compares the Gospel of John with the Gospel of Luke. Writing a book must be like a sermon there is always more to be said. Jim I trust will contine to grow and maybe his next part of his growth will be in how Jesus is divine and totally unlike us. The two contridict creating a tension that God does not remove. So why should we.
His point is very well made that Jesus was human just like me and you. His point is well made about Jesus loving us but we are also sinners saved by grace. Not because we are garbage but because we are made in the image of God and his love is so great for us that he provides us a way back from running from him. Again this seems to be so contridictory that they can't both be right yet they are both taught in the bible. Again God does not remove the tension, so why should we.
Being a pastor I am jealous of Jim freedom from the church. I hate church and yet am deeply in love with the church. I see the best of people and the worst of people in the church. Seem like a contridiction this creates a tension that God does not remove. So we better leave it.
To Jim being Jesus means:
it okay to have needs
having needs isn't bad wrong or a sign of being messed up
not doing it alone
allowing others to help you
allowing others to help you
giving others opportunity to care about you and love you
accpting what others want to give
enjoying friendship and companionship
seeing God in love and support offered by others
He then rewrites the list by personalizing it to the things that actually happened to him. I agree with all of this. I agree with the humanity of Jesus but I also see the divinity and the contridiciton does not bother me near as much as it used to. I can't explain it and don't try to. We need both. I am sure that Jim is going to get some very hostile reviews. This is not one of them.
It might be that being a Canadian we don't do hostile very well. Or it might because I really enjoyed the book. You will probably enjoy it as well. It is not the greatest theology I have ever read but I don't think it was intended to be that. It is an honest sharing of the journey. I look forward to where God will lead my brother Jim in the future.