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Monday, June 18, 2012

Book review: Right Here, Right Now by

Book review: “Right Here, Right Now: Living the Anointed Life with Jesus and Each Other” by

            A couple of days ago, I was at a meeting of persons involved in simple church in my metro area, and one of the persons there had some copies of this book to give away.  At the front and end of the book, the anonymous writer(s) make it clear that this book, which is available in paper and online forms, is free, and permission is granted to reproduce it so long as one doesn’t change it.  The online version is available to read at the website above.  I fully well understand the motivation to hide the names of the writers; I considered the same when starting this blog.  There are negatives to both giving and not giving one’s name, particularly in communicating about living for Jesus, as it is Jesus who is important, and who did everything necessary to make any true communication about Him possible.  Whether an individual or a group of writers, at least one person has a background in history, and has used that experience to explain, my means of story, how some details of history that unbelievers did, and doesn't necessarily make sense to us now, did to them at that time.  Also, at the end of the book in the reference list, the authors did something some of us take for granted, which is explain at the beginning of the reference list that some of the works cited are by non-Christian writers who used methods of expression that we who are believers would not consider morally proper, and are cited for the historical contribution, and not overall agreement of their point of view.
The first chapter, titled “Paradise Lost: Life Without God” is written in a style that, if for some reason one hadn’t looked at the cover to know it was about following Jesus, it wouldn’t be clear from the chapter, in that it avoids use of all traditional clichés, much like Richie Furay did in his first Christian musical work, “I’ve Got a Reason”, back in the mid-1970’s (and I really cannot think of any other comparison in my lifetime).

Whereas many writings within non-humanly organized faith in Jesus attempt to walk a line of neutrality in advocating the basic principles of following Jesus, picturing believers reading the work who still may to a degree like the status quo way of faith in the western world (buildings, paid leaders, worship services), this book, implies within the sentences that the status quo way is not what God intended.  From chapter 2 on, once the introduction is done, it is written in a way that is clearly as writers who follow Jesus, giving a story-like travel through God’s work with man and our response, but still in a manner quite different from Frank Viola’s “Story of the New Testament Church”, in that Viola, in that book, attempted to stick closely to exactly what the Bible told us, and here, the parts that are commented in the line of where some persons responded correctly, and where they didn’t.  Chapter 2 deals with the Old Covenant, and how man, and particularly the chosen people, didn’t follow God’s plan.   Chapter 3 follows how Jesus reintroduced God and man walking together, like Adam and Eve did previous to the fall, to the disciples and a group of everyday people.

  Chapter 4 is about how the apostles guided the early church to follow the same principles that Jesus taught them, and warned them about going another route, with comparisons to paganism over the ages.  Chapter 5 deals with the church beginning to wander backwards from ekklesia life towards religion, with a title comparison to how gravity pulls physical objects back to earth. 

 Chapter 6 goes into how the Roman Empire pulled the church into a twist of the forms of paganism.  Chapter 7 deals with some modern, western distortions, particularly megachurches and the pagan basis for supposed Christian holidays, and the holy day Jesus instituted (I’ll let you read it to find out what it is).  Chapter 8 deals with believers today desiring to again follow the practices the apostles taught with rejecting the syncretism of the previous fifteen or so centuries.

Clearly, a running theme of this book is that what God showed in part via the temple, and what Jesus taught is what gives believers life, and everything else is just a twist on human religion/paganism.  I have no question that this makes some of my fellow believers uncomfortable, and those who collect a salary on account of their faith even more uncomfortable.  It is a tone that is necessary for someone to express.
Since this is free, I’ve already given you a copy, above.  The people behind the book realize that there are instances in which giving a physical copy works as a matter of witness or spiritual growth better, so physical copies are available.  From the website, there is the implication that the person or persons involved in the production of this writing are from the Indianapolis area, but that it is the content, not the authors that are what is relevant, particularly in this age where we have companies with marketing plans that produce Christian stars and personalities.

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