Untamed – A Chapter in a Page (Intro)
I’m in the process of reading Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship by both Alan and Deb Hirsch. So far I have found the book to be honest, real, challenging and inspiring. Alan and Deb are a great personal encouragement to me, because they practice what they write about. This is one of the many reasons why I wanted to do this series, because I think as Christ followers we can all benefit from what they have to say.
My approach in this series is to summarize a chapter in a page and then give a few personal comments about that chapter, thus the title for this series: Untamed – A Chapter in a Page. One of the ways you can join me in this series is by getting the book and working through it with me chapter by chapter. I will seek to post an entry (chapter overview) a week, probably each Wednesday. So you can get the book before next week, and we can work through chapter one. In this way if you desire to discuss it as we go along, we can do that. This week I’m going to look at the introduction, because it is so rich.
UNTAMED – INTRODUCTION
Deb and Alan in the introduction share about why they write this book. They start by sharing their background in a very personal and real way, which is what I would expect from them, because they are such down to earth people. Deb shares about how in her twenties her sister, cousin and her were actively involved with the GLBT community and proudly identified themselves as “gay.” Alan shares a bit about how he grew up in a Jewish family and was born and raised in apartheid South Africa. After sharing a bit about their personal backgrounds they share why the theme of this book – discipleship – has been so vital to their life calling as people who became followers of Jesus. They share their heart about how “we must find a way to once again become the robust, untamed, transformative movement God has designed the church to be” (19). Their deep hope is that they can with us, “authentically live out the radical, grace-saturated life of Jesus and become more like the One we love” (19).
In the introduction “the first word” they share an insightful parable that cuts deeply to the heart. I don’t want to share it here, because I think you should get the book to read it for yourself. It would be like me sharing a key part of a film that you haven’t seen yet. They then lay out the path they will be taking us on, by giving us a sense of what lies ahead.
Section One: Untaming (our idea of) God
Section Two: Untaming our Culture
Section Three: Untaming the Self
Section Four: Untaming the Mission
Some of the signature themes of the book include: Jesus-shaped discipleship, Shema spirituality, No mission – no discipleship, of prophets of idols. They then invite us to the holy obsession of becoming more like the One who loves us and whom we love. So join me on this journey. Pick up the book this week and read through chapter one before next week, and we can do this study together.