Well, now I’m in trouble.
I’ve been recommending too many books as “must reads”, and, after reading a pre-release manuscript of Mark Scandrette’s upcoming book (releases end-of-april, 2007), soul graffiti: making a life in the way of jesus, i’ve cornered myself (that was the amazon link, here’s the book site). Because, if I just say this is a “must read”, I put it on the same level as twenty other books I’ve written that about in the past year.
So, this one is a “muster read”, or a “more than must read”, or something like that. Really.
I’m on a silent retreat as I write this, sitting in a cabin in a canyon in the desert where the only sound is my breathing, the wind, and the occasional bird. And I just read mark’s book straight through, in one sitting (well, I heated a frozen thai chiken pizza at one point, and poured a glass of chimay blue at two points).
More than any book I’ve read, mark lays out what an emerging faith can look like – a life (as the subtitle says) ‘in the way of jesus’. He does so with traditional prose and thoughts about scripture, yes. And those parts are good and well organized and all. But what really makes the book stand apart from all others is mark’s amazing storytelling. He’s not just a storyteller, he’s a storyweaver. Some chapters have a series of stories, with mark’s throughts in-between or following; but the best chapters – and there are many of them – have a couple stories, given in bits – like mark is breaking off pieces of amazing chocolate and giving it to you, just slowly enough to force you into savoring.
This is the faith I aspire to. This is a statement of belief. I want to buy this book by the caseload and give it to everyone I know.