Book Review: Interrupted

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I seriously think that Jen Hatmaker would fit in great to my group of laugh out loud, trip on our own feet, crazy hilarious friends.  So…maybe she move from Austin to Acworth and join our community??!!  I have been so blessed by Jen’s writing…in particular her gut level honesty and transparency about the hard things that God is teaching her.  I’ve read several things from her and just finished Interrupted: When God Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity.  Excellent read!  Lots of great opportunities to see what Brandon and Jen Hatmaker learned through the process of leaving the safe and comfortable in order to dive deep into God’s best for their lives and their family.

I highlighted several things while reading and posted my notes below…

  • God is doing a new thing, as He has done in every generation. We stand in that tiny spot in history in which it is our turn to experience God’s fresh redemption in a new wave of believers through His supernatural ability. It is but a breath. But it is the only breath we have. God is living and active, and He still invites those with ears to hear and eyes to see into the kingdom, which Jesus explained was subversive, countercultural, radical, often hidden. The kingdom refuses to play by the rules of power politics or aggression; it refuses to bully or dominate. It whispers of embarrassing grace and thrilling insubordinance, refusing to go down without fighting for mercy. It’ll cost us, dear one.
  • I later read a perfect summation of my angst by Shane Claiborne in The Irresistible Revolution: I developed a spiritual form of [bulimia] where I did my devotions, read all the new Christian books and saw the Christian movies, and then vomited information up to friends, small groups, and pastors. But it never had the chance to digest. I had gorged myself on all the products of the Christian industrial complex but was spiritually starving to death. I was marked by an overconsumption but malnourished spiritually, suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God.
  • And that’s really where we are. We stand at the intersection of extreme privilege and extreme poverty, and we have a question to answer: Do I care? Am I moved by the suffering of all nations?
  • Mercy has a cost: someone must be broken for someone else to be fed.
  • Ignorant intervention is absolutely a contributing factor to cycles of oppression.
  • The risk of encountering a few weeds is not sufficient reason to avoid the whole field of human suffering, because I assure you, identifying with the wheat but not the weeds is a gross overestimation of our own station.
  • We are only qualified to administer mercy, not judgment, because we will pull up many a beautiful stalk of wheat, imagining him a weed.
  • We are freed from the exhausting stance of defense. We are no longer compelled to be right and are thus relieved from the burden of maintaining some reputation. We are released from the idols of greed, control, and status. The pressure to protect the house of cards is alleviated when we take the lowest place.
  • “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him” (verses 31-32). 
  • The blessed and the lost will be separated based on one principle: the care of the oppressed. The end.
  • God is supremely concerned with our motives, and our works count only when they match our intentions.
  • Franciscan priest Richard Rohr observed, “We cannot think our way into a new kind of living. We must live our way into a new kind of thinking.”[70] (His book Simplicity
  • For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:33, ESV)
  • Leaving is hard, even when a great adventure awaits you. 
  • Then your light will break forth like the dawn,      and your healing will quickly appear;      then your righteousness will go before you,      and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.      Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;      you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.      If you do away with the yoke of oppression,      with the pointing finger and malicious talk,      and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry      and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,      then your light will rise in the darkness,      and your night will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:8-10)
  • Believer, your life is too essential to waste on pettiness or word wars, greed or ladder climbing, anger or bitterness, fear or anxiety, regret or disappointment. Life is too short. We must run, not walk, the way of Isaiah 58, embracing authentic faith manifested through mercy and community.
  • Missional at its core means “sent.” It is the opposite of “come to us.” So many believers have selected their pet concept of the Great Commission—they read, “Make disciples of all nations,” but neglect the prerequisite instruction: “Go.” Going is the noble history of the Trinity. God sent Jesus to dwell among fallen humanity—not to visit, not to remain separated, not to detach, but to immerse. He was the supreme Missionary to mankind, submerged in culture, among the people He wanted to rescue. Upon Jesus’ resurrection, God sent the Spirit from the heights of heaven to the heart of every believer, an indwelling.
  • In Breaking the Missional Code, Ed Stetzer and David Putman wrote, The church is one of the few organizations in the world that does not exist for the benefit of its members. The church exists because God, in his infinite wisdom and infinite mercy, chose the church as his instrument to make known his manifold wisdom in the world.[87]
  • The problem with Christian segregation is that God asked us to be on mission with Him, sent us to some group of people somewhere, and wants us to minister to them in a way that meets their needs by speaking their language.
  • How lovely is a faith community that goes forth as loving sisters and brothers rather than angry defenders and separatists.
  • Paul understood what drew people to faith: “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, ESV).
  • Love has won infinitely more converts than theology. The first believers were drawn to Christ’s mercy long before they understood His divinity.
  • Eighteenth-century theologian Matthew Henry wrote, A heart warmed with zeal for God, and breathing after the salvation of men, will not plead and insist upon rights and privileges in bar to this design. Those manifestly abuse their power in the gospel who employ it not to edification but destruction, and therefore breathe nothing of its spirit.[98]
  • Theology very naturally follows belief, but belief very rarely follows judgment.
  • We cannot possibly know all there is to know about anyone without digging deep, getting close, and providing a safe place for people to be known.
  • “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law” (1 Corinthians 9:20).
  • Whether persuading a legalist to grace or an atheist to faith, it is our high calling to innocently conform to their worldview in any possible way to earn a hearing for the gospel.
  • There will never be enough knowledge to fill the cracks of Christian maturity without the fruit of selfless service manifested in our lives. Our lives must reflect this heart of Christ, or we will always remain one click away.
  • Discipleship was never simply about learning; it was constructed on living.
  • Mission feeds itself; it is terrifically self-propelling.
  • Formulas tend to fixate on the details and accidentally miss the point, so don’t transplant our vision into your context without breaking the code for your specific culture.
  • Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best at a Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957: When the history books are written in the future, the historians will have to look back and say, “There lived a great people . . . a people who injected new meaning into the veins of civilization . . . a people that gave new integrity and a new dimension of love to our civilization.” When that happens, the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy.

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