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“Hard to exorcise, indeed, because religion gives the impression of having Christ, while it inoculates you from experiencing the real thing.”

“For the religious spirit is like flu–it is constantly adapting to the environment.” 

“You must understand an important distinction–there is Christianity, and then there is church culture. They are not the same. Often they are far from the same. The personality conveyed through much of Christian culture is not the personality of Jesus but of the people in charge of that particular franchise. Tragically, the world looks at funny hats or big hair, gold thrones and purple curtains, stained glass or fog machines, and assumes this is what Jesus must be like.”

“…[I]f our spirituality doesn’t ‘FIT’ into normal life, it is religious.”

These are a few significant quotes from “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge. These quotes give a good overall picture of the book: He’s attacking the spirit of religion in our Christianity. Now let me say that it’s not just a full-on attack, but it’s also a revealing of the nature of Jesus. This book is about revealing who Jesus is, specifically in His humanity.

“…Jesus is humanity in its truest form.”

This book was recommended to me by a friend in Seattle. I’ve read other books by Eldredge and didn’t even know this one was out there. Honestly, it was a bit of a slow start. I had a hard time digging my heals in and getting into the book. But around Chapter 3 or 4, Edlredge grabbed me with some thought-provoking statements. He challenges the way we see Jesus, and he challenges us in our relationship with God. And beginning in Chapter 15, Eldredge starts giving us some solutions to the problems.

I love books that buck against the status quo. I love books that will say things not just for attention, but for sake of jerking you out of your mediocrity. I don’t like attacks on the church without solutions. Anybody can identify problems, but the point is to bring solutions. I commend Eldredge, because this book did all these things. He talks about the church and our role in society. It’s a good wake up call, and it has definitely given me some perspective on who MY Jesus is. I’d like to read this book again.

If you have been a Christ follower for any length of time, grab this book. You can check it out here on Amazon – urlm.in/qhfb

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  • Karen

    Hi, Troy! I’m part of the Ransomed Heart team (with John Eldredge). Just came across your post and wanted to say thanks for spreading the word about Beautiful Outlaw. We love how you sort of “stumbled” on it and are so glad it has been helpful and meaningful.

    Karen, for the RH Team

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