“Our love of one another is the greatest measure of our faith.” (p189)
Brandon Hatmaker’s new book, A Mile Wide, is more than a call to a deeper faith – it’s an invitation into kingdom living. It’s an invitation to live a life modeled after Jesus – filled with love, grace and mercy.
The book is broken into two parts: The Gospel In Us and The Gospel Through Us, each part including four chapters. At the end of each chapter there are ten discussion questions, making this a fabulous book to use for Bible study, book club or even just to discuss with your family and friends. This book is more than just a quick read filled with fun stories and interesting ideas – it is potentially life changing. It will challenge you, encourage you, inspire you and teach you.
Brandon is a fabulous storyteller – down to earth and funny – and his stories will leave you longing for a more authentic and tangible faith. The way that he sees people is inspiring. As I read through this book I found myself talking back to the pages as though the author could hear me affirming his words or asking questions about things. There were even a few times I read a paragraph and thought – man, that needs to be a whole book just for that one thought (such as the quote below in bold – I would LOVE to see an entire book on this concept).
The thoughts and ideas here are not new, but they are written in a way that might be more accessible to the average person. There’s an easiness about this book that makes it hard to stop reading, but the words are so deep and profound that it’s necessary to stop every so often to really soak them in. Humility and kindness drip from the pages in this book in a way that is extremely refreshing and comforting. There are also some difficult topics here, though – loving others, showing mercy, seeing the needs around us. Although the book is written in a very thoughtful tone, there is nothing surface-level about this book. It’s a call to live like Jesus. A call to authenticity, vulnerability and grace. A call to a deeper, more meaningful faith. It’s a beautiful book and I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Favorite Quotables from A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker (I really want to just quote the entire book to you, but that would be a lot of typing):
“..our interpretive lens should always be love. It’s like the legend on a map helping us set our course. How then should we love? Choose love. Every time.” (p5)
“Jesus came to rip the scales off our religious eyes to show us the heart behind the letters. He moves from judgment to grace and chose love over law and people over position. His gospel was for all, his community was inclusive, his discipleship was holistic, his mission was eternal, and his kingdom was vast. Everything about Jesus and his dream for us was bigger, wider, and deeper than we can imagine.” (p6)
“The true gospel has never appealed to the masses, nor did it ever try to. Jesus didn’t want fans; he wanted followers. Yes, this kingdom will save your whole life, but you have to lose the one you have first. There is no resurrection without a death.” (p13)
“Nothing matters more than humility, teachability, and repentance, because the opposites – pride, arrogance, and obstinacy – make us blind and deaf to every goodness and truth in the kingdom.” (p14)
“True gospel community starts with true vulnerability. It’s where we end and the gospel begins.” (p96)
“Every move toward humility is a conversion. Killing pride involves a thousand daily deaths that are hard and hurt and will cost us something. But every time we choose to reject the lie of bigger and instead choose little, we are more converted to the greatness of the kingdom.” (p126)
“Everywhere we look there is physical, spiritual, emotional and relational need. If we don’t see it, we are either looking in the wrong places or we’re not really looking.” (p138)
“Missional people attempt to live lives that are attractive to those who have no context for church. They earn their places in the lives of others. Only then do they hold the moral authority or personal permission to speak truth into someone’s life.” (p141-142) [*this is probably my favorite quote in the entire book]
“Loving mercy and walking humbly are inextricably linked with seeking justice. Loving mercy is the key motivation to justice, and personal humility is almost always the end result.” (p155)
“God is just. But his justice is expressed through his mercy.” (p164)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising