Discerning the Body: Searching for Jesus in the World

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9781620323762: Discerning the Body: Searching for Jesus in the World
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Where in the world is the church? These articles, essays, opinion pieces, and blog posts gather around that question. If we quit on the question in despair, we are lost. If we answer it too quickly, we are not digging deeply enough. But if we hunt hard with the help of the Holy Spirit, we'll find Christ's body alive, active, working, growing, and making things new. In Discerning the Body, Jason Byassee goes hunting for the church guided by a singular conviction-God has promised there will be a church until Christ's return. So it's out there, it's just slightly hard to find. Where is a batch of Jesus' disciples, gathering around his Word and Sacraments, living out his mission in the world? Byassee spends time among Catholics, evangelicals, mainliners, and a few non-Christians looking for signs of Christ's body. He also looks in less likely places: among athletes, in institutions, in popular culture, in the craft of writing. It is very hard to expect to be surprised. Doesn't the expectation ruin the surprise? Yet it's Jesus who surprises us in the church. Every time we find him, we have to expect to be surprised to find him anew in some counterintuitive guise. This book is about the author's learning to expect to be astounded anew by Christ.

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About the Author:

Jason Byassee is senior pastor of Boone United Methodist Church in Boone, North Carolina, and fellow in theology and leadership at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School. He is also a contributing editor to The Christian Century. He has written for Books & Culture, First Things, and Sojourners.

Review:

''If you are looking for a sane guide through what seem like the ruins, this is the book for you. Jason Byassee s journalistic essays are accurate I almost want to say sanctified as he reports on conflicts, innovations, difficulties, and surprises that keep emerging in today s church and culture. Best of all, he writes with a gracious generosity that avoids gossip and is intent on discerning the Spirit.''
Eugene H. Peterson, author of ''Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers''

''Jason Byassee spent only two days with our community at House for All Sinners and Saints, so I was shocked when the piece he wrote about us was spot-on. He saw things in my church I never noticed, but as soon as he said them I recognized [them] to be true. This ability to tell the church who we are and describe the landscape of American Christianity can come only from the singular combination of a scholarly mind and a pastoral heart.''
Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of ''Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint''

''Jason Byassee s essays make up a most engaging travelogue, but a travelogue that is metaphorical as well as geographical. . . . He finds Jesus at home and abroad, in many churches but also many places far from church, and in books that are both sacred and ostensibly secular. How Byassee connects these sites to the Jesus he finds in Scripture makes for unusually captivating (and bracingly edifying) reading.''
Mark Noll, coauthor of ''Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia''

''The Spirit is surprising us in ways we may not have known or expected. I m glad Jason has invited us to explore with him. Do so. You may not like all the stops on the way, but I wager you will be prodded to think, pray, and perhaps act in new ways.''
Leighton Ford, author of ''The Attentive Life: Discerning God s Presence in All Things'' --Wipf and Stock Publishers

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