Why I Bought THIS Book For My Children

Moments ago, I placed an order on Amazon. I eagerly hit the “Place Your Order” button.One.Life.jpg

My purchase?

Two copies of Scot McKnight’s new book One.Life.

One copy is being sent to my daughter in Oklahoma City. The other copy is being sent to my daughter in Tennessee. I don’t do this often. But this is a book that I really hope they will read. This has to be one of the finest books that I have ever read on what it means to follow Jesus. The book is theological, inspirational, and very practical.

I read the book just before Christmas and found it very difficult to put down. It took me longer to read than I expected. Again and again, I paused to reflect after reading a chapter. The book made me think about my own life and my own discipleship. In chapter after chapter Scot McKnight speaks of what it means to be a Christ-follower by really following him.

One of the strengths of the book is the careful and deliberate articulation of what it means to be a Jesus-follower. What kind of life does Jesus really expect from his followers? Scot fleshes this out in 14 powerful chapters.

The following are quotes that were particular meaningful to me:

  • Jesus’ words brought waves of ordinary folks to their feet and awakened in them a reverie of hope. (p. 28)
  • Transforming Jesus’ powerful, full-orbed God’s-Dream-Society vision into a personal-religion vision sucks the life out of the word kingdom. (p. 32)
  • Jesus wants us to imagine a world in which our small actions are seen as significant actions. Offering someone a cup of cold water, opening the door of welcome, a short note of encouragement, a gentle word of help, a warm embrace, the washing of a sick person’s feet, the tending to a dying neighbor, a friendly tweet or adding someone as a friend on Facebook … these are the little mustard seeds that can have large consequences. (p. 39)
  • Being right for Jesus meant a kind of Bible reading and a kind of theology and a kind of behavior that led to loving God and loving others. If you read your Bible or prayed or went to synagogue but weren’t a more loving person, something was wrong. (p. 48)
  • Many think Jesus came to earth so you and I can have a special kind of spiritual experience and then go merrily along, as long as we pray and read our Bibles and develop intimacy with the unseen God but ignore the others-oriented life of justice and love and peace that Jesus embodied. When I hear Christians describe the Christian life as little more than soul development and personal intimacy with God, and I do hear this often, I have to wonder if Christians even read their Bibles. (p. 60)
  • The single-most glaring contradiction between Jesus’ life and our lives today–and I’m speaking to the Western-world Christians–pertains to money and possessions. (p. 111)

There are many other very meaningful quotes which I could have placed in this list.

Perhaps the chapter on wisdom is one of the best. Scot discusses seven elements of Jesus’ wisdom. This discussion alone may be worth the price of this book.

The book is available here.

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  • http://coffeecup.theobloggers.com/ Darryl Willis

    Just great Jim! Now I’ve gotta go buy another book! 8^) Sounds like a wonderful read. Adding it to my list right now!

    • Jim Martin

      Darryl, just what you needed! Right? :) Hope you are doing well.

  • Scot McKnight


    What a thoughtful — and deeply appreciated — endorsement. That chp on Wisdom was important to me, and so I’m glad you saw it as I did.

    • Jim Martin

      Scot, you have written an important book. This book reflects much thought, time, and life experience. Most of all it reflects the time you have spent in Scripture and your commitment to follow Jesus.

      This book needs to be read widely.

      (I value your chapter on wisdom and hope it sparks a conversation within the church. It is badly needed.)

  • Tucker


    I was looking for something like this to help in a Bible study for a small group from church. This looks like it may fit the bill. For something to stop you in your tracks and make you reflect must be quite worthwhile. Thanks for the information.


    • Jim Martin

      Steve, probably the greatest value of the book for me is that Scot McKnight is asking, “What kind of life does Jesus really expect from his followers?” THAT is an important question. It has been important for me to think about this.

  • http://deeandrews.net Dee Andrews

    Jim – Thanks for the review & the quotes! Sounds like a really good read . . . and with much needed wisdom & advice.


    • Jim Martin

      Dee, the book is outstanding. I hope it is read widely.

  • http://newheights.wordpress.com Darin

    Thanks for the recommendation. Checked it out on Amazonkindle.

    • Jim Martin

      Hi Darin,

      Isn’t the Kindle nice? Hope you enjoy the book.

  • http://whyonline.org Brandon

    I loved Blue Parakeet and am looking forward to this. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Jim Martin

      Brandon, I think you will find great value in this book. Well written and well thought out.

  • Clay

    Jim, You are spot on. I bought a copy and gave it to our youth director for Christmas. The book is perfect for youth and young adults. I’m just about finished with it. The wisdom and sex chapters are great, but I also like the one on the committed life.

  • Connie Lard

    Just had it sent to my Kindle! Looking forward to reading it! Thanks Jim!

    • Jim Martin

      Connie, would love to hear your impressions of the book. Glad you got it. An important book.

  • http://gatheringrubies.com Janice Garrison

    I’m adding this to my list too. I have purchased at least a dozen books since October. I have a lot of reading to do and I am just about ready to dig in. This one is going on my Amazon wish list.

    Thanks so much for the recommendation. Blue Parakeet is one of the recent books I purchased and am looking forward to reading it.

    • Jim Martin

      Janice, glad this one made your list. A great read!

  • http://kasselblog.blogspot.com Arlene Kasselman

    Thanks Jim, any book endorsement from you is worth a look! I love finding a keeper like that and being able to share.

    • Jim Martin

      Arlene! Good to hear from you. Hope that you and David are doing well and had a great Christmas. Would love to see you guys again.

  • Dusty

    Thanks Jim. I’m ordering it today. I’m currently loving Willimon’s “Why Jesus?” Have you read it?

    • Jim Martin

      Dusty, I have not read this. I like Willimon and need to order this. Glad to hear that it is good and look forward to it.

  • Alison

    Dang it, Jim, my “to read” list just got two entries longer, McKnight’s book and Willimon’s, as recommended by one of your commenters. I am currently reading (and being deeply challenged by) Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods and Generous Justice. Looks like my Kindle (my family’s Christmas gift to me) has some new material to be downloaded!

    • http://www.godhungry.org Jim Martin

      Alison, would love to hear what you think about the book after you have read it. Thanks for your note. (Isn’t the Kindle nice?)