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Stranger God: Meeting Jesus in Disguise

Author: 
Richard Beck (Author)
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Description

When Richard Beck first led a Bible study at a maximum security prison, he went to meet God. His own faith was flagging, but Beck still believed the promise of Matthew 25, that when we visit the prisoner, we visit Jesus. And sure enough, God met him in prison.

With his signature combination of biblical reflection, theological reasoning, and psychological insight, Beck shows how God always meets us in the marginalized, the oppressed, and the refugee. And stories from Beck’s own life illustrate this truth—God comes to him in the poor, the crippled, the smelly.

Psychological experiments show how we are predisposed to like those who are similar to us and avoid those who are unlike us. The call of the gospel, however, is to override those impulses with compassion, to "widen the circle of our affection." In the end, Beck turns to the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux for guidance in doing even the smallest acts with kindness, and he lays out a path that any of us can follow.

ISBN: 
9781506433752
Price: 
$18.99
ISBN: 
9781506438412
Price: 
$18.99
Release date: 
November 1, 2017
Pages: 
256
Width: 
5.50
Height: 
8.50

Endorsements

A much needed and timely tonic for a divided world. I can't commend this book highly enough. 

"This tour de force solidifies Richard Beck's reputation as one of America's finest, winsome, and most imaginative theologians. Every page of this deeply moving, theologically disciplined, and accessible work brims with practical and applicable wisdom. Beck's reflections on the spiritual practices of hospitality and kindness invite us to widen our circles of concern to include the stranger and are a much needed and timely tonic for a divided world. I can't commend this book highly enough. Let the 'kindness revolution' begin!"

Ian Morgan Cron, author of "Chasing Francis, Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me," and "The Road Back You"

If the church put these words into practice, it could quite literally change the world.

"The word 'prophetic' gets thrown around so much that I hesitate to use it here and yet Richard Beck's remarkable book is exactly that. If the church put these words into practice, it could quite literally change the world."

Christine Lee | Vicar of All Angels' Church in New York City

A beautiful portrait of a Christianity that prioritizes care for the indigent, infirm, immigrant, and imprisoned. I cannot think of a more timely book!

"At a time when Christianity is in danger of being hijacked for the nefarious agendas of nationalism, racism, and xenophobia, Richard Beck calls us to welcome Jesus, who so often comes in the guise of the maligned or forgotten stranger. In Beck's brilliant Stranger God, we find a beautiful portrait of a Christianity that prioritizes care for the indigent, infirm, immigrant, and imprisoned. I cannot think of a more timely book!"

Brian Zahnd | pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and author of "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God"

In a world that feels increasingly divisive, Beck’s counsel to widen our circle of affection could not be more timely.

"Richard Beck is not only a brilliant mind but more importantly, a person of integrity, which is why we should heed the wisdom about hospitality he shares with us in Stranger God. In a world that feels increasingly divisive, Beck’s counsel to widen our circle of affection could not be more timely. This is a wise, holy, and yes, practical book about how to become formed as people who welcome the stranger God among us."

Danielle Shroyer, speaker, minister, author of "Original Blessing"

A deceptively simple and deeply loving examination of the Little Way practices that can make us whole.”

"In his new book, Richard Beck shows how opening ourselves to strangers lets us see more of God. A deceptively simple and deeply loving examination of the Little Way practices that can make us whole."

Sara Miles | author of "Take This Bread" and "City of God"

Richard Beck gathers the ideals and big hopes of Christianity in from our someday-in-the-sweet-bye-and-bye into our actual lives with grace and humor and practicality.

"Richard Beck is one of my favorite theologians precisely because of what he manages to do in Stranger God—​he gathers the ideals and big hopes of Christianity in from our someday-in-the-sweet-bye-and-bye into our actual lives with grace and humor and practicality. He is equal parts pastoral and prophetic. After all, it's all well and good to say that Christians will be known by our love: it's something entirely different to actually love people who you find offensive or wrong or even just different. Through this wise and warm exploration of the Little Way, you will be discipled into the sweet ways of Jesus, whose love transforms everything—​even us."

Sarah Bessey | author of "Jesus Feminist" and "Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith"