You guys know about my issues with swirling thoughts. And conflicting emotions. And my quest for that ever-elusive balance in my life. How half the time I feel torn. About something or other. And there’s always a tension. Living in the world but not of it–that’s a huge part of it. Knowing what God wants from me each moment. Desiring some focus. Craving some calm.
Well. Our friend Kary Oberbrunner has written a new book called The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap Between Christ and Culture. He deals with these issues. And he deals with them Scripturally. And he doesn’t write things just because he thinks they’ll sound cool. Even though he is pretty cool–and so is his wife, Kelly, who was a college buddy of mine. And their two darling children. But I digress. Kary’s a very good writer with an easy-to-read style. He’s intelligent. The book is intelligent. But not grandiose and wordy. It’s funny. And serious. And convicting. And compelling. And he didn’t pull his ideas out of nowhere–he got them from God’s Word.
I knew just a few pages in that I was really going to like it when I read, “Even though I’m thirty-one, I’m still trying to fine my place in this world. Shouldn’t I know by now what I want to be when I grow up? But it’s bigger than simply what I want to do in the future. It’s also about how I should live now. I want to be relevant to the world, to impact it and maybe even transform it. At the same time, I don’t want to look just like the world looks.”
Another part that grabbed me: “Don’t get me wrong: I understand why people give up on the church; I just don’t agree with it. At one point in my life I became disillusioned with the church as well…Then I decided to stop being part of the problem…”
In an interview I read on another blog, he said, “Here’s what I know: our difference from the world, not our similarity to it sets us apart. But even though Christ followers are called to be different, we’re also called to transform the world. Here lies the tension. We can’t be so far removed from the world that we lose contact, and we can’t be so much like the world that we’re no different from it.”
You can read a sample chapter here. There are discussion questions at the end too (something I totally should have done for Is That All He Thinks About?), so you can read it as a group.
Kary’s doing a Blog Tour for his book (which releases in December). 31 Blogs in 31 Days. Ha. Rings a bell. (52 in 52…)
A quote I especially liked from the very last page: “Living life on the fine line is a beautiful mess. It’s where we work out our salvation, and it stops only when we stop thinking, dreaming, and re-envisioning…” A beautiful mess. I feel ya.
Kary has a real heart for Jesus Christ–and for the world. And it shows. In his book. And in his life. (remember–he brought us Pei Wei…)
Leave a comment to be entered to win a free copy of The Fine Line. I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday-ish. If you don’t win, find a way to get your hands on this book. Buy it. Request that your library buy it. Whatever you need to do. And in your comment, tell me 1.) the state you currently live in OR 2.) the state of mind you currently find yourself in. Crossing my fingers for you!