Book Review: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

Since learning of John Eldredge one day in chapel, during my undergrad days, I’ve been reading his works on and off.  As I’ve said in a previous post, there’s a kind of adventure that Eldredge takes me on that I’ve come to associate with his writing–it’s an adventure that serves me well.

Beautiful Outlaw, which explores the playful, disruptive, and extravagant personality of Jesus, takes me on such an adventure.  For years now, I’ve made it a habit of reading through all four Gospels, and I always pick up something new.  And reading Beautiful Outlaw, which is largely based on the Gospels, has helped in this regard.

Through seventeen insightful chapters, John Eldredge seeks to remove much of the religious fog that has settled over the personality of Jesus for centuries.  Mr. Eldredge’s burden is to help his readers behold afresh the Beautiful Outlaw that is Jesus of Nazareth.

The subtitle “Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus” gets the conversation going.  Walking through the Gospels with Mr. Eldredge has been quite refreshing.  Along the way, the reader encounters several stories of how Eldredge, his family, and others have experienced the personality of Jesus in their own lives.

And thanks for reminding us that there is difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus.

But I must confess that some of the stories of how Jesus has spoken to personally to some believers have made me somewhat uncomfortable.  You see, I was taught otherwise and never to expect such.

Of all the books of John Eldredge I’ve read, Beautiful Outlaw has got to be his most theological thus far.  As someone who is Reformed, I was very pleased with Eldredge’s affirmation of the historic creeds, hell, and the like.

Thanks Mr. Eldredge for this work, and I commend it to the reader who longs for the Beautiful Outlaw—free of the religious fog.

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This entry was posted in Augustine of Hippo, Creeds and Confessions, Hell, John Eldredge and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

  1. Lon says:

    Thanks for the informative review. I haven’t read him, but hear him speak once, and it put me off a bit. Maybe I should give this one a chance. Thanks. Lon

  2. Scott says:

    I loved his earlier books (Sacred Romance, Desire, Wild at Heart, Waking the Dead, Way of the Wild Heart). I’ve read all his books, even most of them a second time, but haven’t read this one. It seems that he is starting to repeat himself a bit too much. But I still appreciate his thoughts.

  3. TC says:

    Lon, you are welcome. Yeah, you should give it a read.

    Scott, I’ve read all of those as well. Epic is quite good too. Yeah, at some point, every writer appears repetitious.

    • Scott says:

      I didn’t realise it, but Eldredge came out with a book in January – The Utter Relief of Holiness. Bought it this week and have begun reading it, now through ch.1. His basic premise in ch.1 is that, while many people loathe the word ‘holiness’ and view it as behaviour management, it is connected to wholeness & healing. If we can understand this aspect of holiness, it will stir our hearts to what God intends for us. I appreciated reading that.

      • TC says:

        Yeah, I saw that too, and as I was finishing up Beautiful Outlaw, I sort of understood why he penned The Utter Relief of Holiness. It’s like he wanted to say so much about holiness that a book was necessary.

        Yeah, great quote. At some point I would love to read it. Will you be doing a review?

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