book response: Prototype by Jonathan Martin (2013)

Pastor Martin is strong in being weak. This is good. His honesty in his weakness and God's goodness towards him, nevertheless, makes him an engaging author of Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think? He tells story of a Jesus who is awesome and who does awesome things through the people around him. He elevates everyone else in this book and not himself. He keeps pointing to
others as examples of Jesus at work and points to himself only to show the wonder-working power of his savior. His perspective, and style, are seen in this quote,
I feel like the guy from the old Hair Club for Men commercials: "I'm not just the president... I'm also a client." I'm not just the pastor, I'm a body under renovation. Because if God is saving anybody at Renovatus, He's saving me, and I have plenty to be saved from and even more to saved to. p. 186
The more honest he is about his oddities, the more normal he comes across. My favorite chapter is titled Obscurity. Christian books on being "radical" or "extreme" or "sold-out" are sold in spades. But most of us, have jobs and families and mortgages and are not called to "drop our nets" like Peter and John. We are called to keep living our lives and occupy until Jesus returns. Martin affirms this, and what a relief that is.
Obscurity is where God sends all of His favorite sons and daughters. Our society tells us that if and when we get "there" - the job or position or degree we've always wanted, the notoriety we've always dreamed of - that's when all the important stuff will start happening. Not so.
All the good stuff happen in obscurity. p.65
Thank you for not making me feel guilty for my non-radical-for-Jesus life. This quote gets to the thesis of the book, Jesus loves us. However, he tells that to us in more compelling ways.
I believe David's years of obscurity enabled him to receive a revelation of his belovedness in a way that Saul never could, amid the legion of voices from which he drew his own fractures sense of identity. Through all the worst moments of David's life, it was his intrinsic grasp of God's love that ultimately set him apart. It turns out that knowing how loved we are by God makes all the difference in the kind of people we will become. p.31
Of course there is more to the book, but I keep returning to this point. I'm one of those people, like Martin, who grew up in the church and keeps forgetting this. I keep complicating what is simple, and I'm glad for the refresher from Pastor Martin.

I received this book as a complimentary review copy from Tyndale House Publishers. The book's website has PDF's of a Q & A with the author and the first chapter.

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I don't know sweet pea, I think many might consider you as a little radical (smile).

But good points in the last paragraphs.

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