Brad Jersak unveiling a better faith in “A More Christlike Way” – Review by Nathan Forster
Before I start this review, I need to make a confession. I arrogantly thought that this book would just re-hash what I thought I already knew. I came to this book thinking “okay, so I know God is perfectly revealed in Jesus, and so yep, that means that is God is love, and so then a faith modelled on love becomes how we embody our faith into the world- simple!And if this is what Brad is going to say (though only in a longer version) then he’ll be confirming what I generally already know”. Needless to say, the Spirit used this book to gently remind me, once again, that true knowing of Love (i.e. God) is not the type of knowing that you exhaust, or understand, or grasp (and it certainly isn’t “simple”). Rather, true knowing is relational knowing that you don’t grasp, but rather, grasps you. And when it’s the God who is Love that grasps you, you learn more and more from the Master of Love; and so you learn to love better and to love with more of oneself. And that can’t ever be exhausted or fully understood- rather that is something that we grow in over a lifetime (if only we keep our hearts open and teachable). And so, Brad’s book served as a means of God to bring about God’s gentle reminder (and my later act of repentance); for it was in Brad’s pages that I learned more of what a more Christlike Way could be. So, as I started reading this book, Brad writings showed me again that I am (and always will be) a student in the ways of God’s abundant grace. As such, this book then immediately set the tone of it being a work that would gently rebuke and yet rebuild–and I honestly think it will serve to that ends for many… And here’s me hoping it’ll also do that to the wider church as we so desperately seek her on-going reformation.
And so with this, Brad sort to build on the good tone he had set for the book: that the Jesus Way is neither a call to a new form of moralism (whereby we think we bring the Kingdom, or for that matter think we have it all figured out) or us merely standing still and thus not be active in living the life of love. Instead, Brad reminds us that walking in a more Christlike way is an invitation into a graceful participation in what God is doing, has done, and will do. Brad reminds us that it is Jesus alone who perfectly walked his own walk, carving the path that we only later walk, and that following is called following– not standing still. Brad continues to return to these equal truth’s as I read this book, and as a reader I found this constant reminder a needed reminder- for it is easy to slip into the pattern of moralism that then makes one think that they have it all together (and as such have all the answers), or into a pattern of static & still faith that serves to no fresh action on our part in the world. As such, Brad is careful to avoid both the pits of moralism on one side, and a cheap grace on the other, and instead call us into the narrow Christlike way- whereby we participate in what God is doing, and to participate in this only by the power of the Spirit. So, with these good reminders throughout the pages of the book, Brad then calls us into a vision of what is a more Christlike Way.