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The Art of Being You

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The Advocate

The Art of Being You
by Bob Kilpatrick & Joel Kilpatrick

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"The artistically minded as well as the artistically challenged will see their faith walk with a renewed perspective after reading The Art of Being You."

In The Art of Being You, it’s the author’s thesis that most Christ-followers take a "math" approach to their faith journey making it manageable with a system of "do's and don'ts." Somewhere along history’s timeline, they began to expect the Bible to be more like a textbook/rulebook than an expression of the art and mystery of God . . . living their lives accordingly. We often reason rather than point to the mystery. God is not a mathematician, mechanic, teacher or the Wizard of Oz although we often perceive Him in that way.

The Art of Being You is a transparent glimpse into God’s creative plans and work in our lives. This new paradigm is simple enough yet too large to fully understand and get our arms wrapped around. God is not taking a band-aid approach to fixing us but rather a passionate, visionary artist’s continual effort to express His creativity in each one of us. God considers humankind his masterpiece.

The Kilpatricks clearly explain the difference between "math" and "art" when it comes to our perceptions concerning God. Here are some of the phrases clarified within the pages . . . Math equates while Art creates; Evangelism is Math -- Friendship is Art; Generosity is Art and Tithing is Math and last but not least, Fear is Math while Love is Art.

The authors really shine in the chapter entitled “The Art of the Spiritual Disciplines” where they do not speak down or camp in judgment mode, choosing instead to encourage and challenge our intentionality.

Here are a few pull-quotes that jumped off the pages for me:

"We have taken the art of evangelism and turned it into a series of equations – a ministry of math . . . we have removed the one thing that makes us so attractive – loving relationships with God and one another.”

"Some Christians see glory as a mystical nexus between earth and heaven – an overwhelming sense of God’s power or a kind of swirling, dizzying cloud of his presence . . . But I have come to believe that God’s greatest glory is in people -- flawed, human limited people.”

"The crucifixion was the highest art – the promise of redemption and remaking of creation, the Artist becoming one with His art, redeeming it from within and sacrificing so it could be fully realized.”

If they had asked me, I’d have titled this book “The Art of Becoming You” because it’s a process. It is not so much a formulaic approach to life as a freedom to experience life without restraints. To fully believe God sees us as new creations: whole, complete and a stunning part of his creative process.

The artistically minded as well as the artistically challenged will see their faith walk with a renewed perspective after reading The Art of Being You.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.