BookLog: Being Jesus in Nashville
The book is largely a collection of stories about people Palmer has met, conversations they have had, questions he has wrestled with. The focus of Jim’s questions is what it means to be Jesus in the real world: in his case, on the streets and in the coffeehouses of Nashville. Not to be LIKE Jesus, but to actually BE Jesus – to take the incarnation of Christ seriously. This is not a new idea to Christian mystics or early church fathers like Iranaeus, who wrote, “The Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through his transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.” But apparently this is a dangerous idea to evangelical Christian publishers.
Jim’s voyage of discovery led him to new realizations about what it means to “be Jesus,” and he devotes a chapter to each of these insights. Being Jesus means…
Parting with religious tradition when necessary;
Seeing people as they truly are;
Letting it happen, not making it happen;
Being at peace, whatever happens;
Putting no limitations on God;
Living without separation from God;
Following your own path;
Realizing there is no problem;
Living as everyone’s neighbor;
Accepting help from others;
Feeling it all deeply;
Being a true friend;
…and in a chapter that would do Pete Rollins proud, “Being Jesus Means… Letting Go of Jesus.”
Usually when I read a book I know I’ll be blogging about, I’ll take the time to highlight note-worthy passages so I can refer to them in my review. That didn’t happen with this book, because I got swept up in the stories Palmer was telling, overwhelmed by the compassion he shows for the people in his life who are asking questions the institutionalized church will not – or cannot – answer.
Being Jesus in Nashville is available as a Nook book from Barnes and Noble for only $3.39. Don’t look for it at your local evangelical bookstore, though. Being Jesus in Nashville is way too honest, way too real for them to tolerate.
You can visit Jim Palmer's blog at http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/. He also has a great Facebook page, Occupy Religion.