Mark’s #32 – Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today by Mark Laberrton

Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today

“Follow me” – It is a simple yet profound call from the lips of the Son of God to His followers.  22 times we read this command from Jesus in the gospels.  President of Fuller Theological Seminary and author, Mark Laberrton, returns to this command as the basis for calling Christians to return to a way of life in the path of Jesus.

“The heart of God’s call is this: that we receive and live the love of God for us and for the world (p. 14)”

In general, reading this book is like a lot of books I’ve read that call Christians back to the simplicity of following Jesus, loving God, and loving people.  While a good message, and perhaps a needed one, it is not a revolutionary one.

Nevertheless, there was one theme, that was a new and a helpful insight for me developed specifically in chapter four:Relocating – Where are we called? Laberrton argues that for most American evangelical Christians, we have embraced a promised land mentality rather than an exile mentality.  A promised land mentality is about living in the land full of milk and honey, and thus taking on a mindset of entitlement to God’s blessings – which spurs on our cultural idolatry of materialism and consumerism.  Instead, we should embrace a exile mentality – Where we are not yet in our true home, and where we fight for the good of the city in which we live even while we long for our true home with God.  This mindset does not seek safety, comfort, and security, but rather it seeks the good of all people and especially the poor and oppressed around us.

This is probably not a book I would have selected on my own to read, but because of a recommendation of a friend I was intrigued by it.  Laberrton, who is a bit more theologically liberal than I am, writes a bit outside of my normal stream of reading.  Though I didn’t agree with all of his statements and conclusions, I’m glad to have read this book.

Along this stream of books about truly following Jesus in the 21st century, my hearty recommendation would be for David Platt’s book – Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.

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