Sunday, June 5, 2011

Untamed by Lisa Harper—A Book Review & GIVEAWAY!

I was really excited to get this book.  Remembering Lisa as the gal behind Renewing the Heart conferences, I was anxious to read her words on “How the wild side of Jesus frees us to live and love with abandon”. 

What was particularly interesting was just the day before I came across Untamed as a review copy with Multnomah Books, my daughter and I had a conversation about how meek and mild and even wimpy some people view Jesus.  He is the Son of God after all.  I knew my own settled opinions of Christ could use a little shaking up.

Lisa has a Master’s in Theology, which was apparent in the Biblical knowledge shared throughout the book and in her segments “The Wild Ways of God”.  Interlaced with her own personal stories, the 12 chapters unfold a different aspect of Jesus’ wild side as redemptive, unsettling, devoted, tough, compelling, pro-women, confident, confrontational, unconventional, attentive, faithful, fearsome and liberating.  Quite a list, huh?  So much for meek and mild . . . let alone wimpy.

Lisa is heralded by several in the Christian writing and teaching circle as one of the best at mixing her writing with pop-culture references that help connect the dots between the Bible era and modern life.  Max Lucado, Priscilla Shirer, Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll and Anita Renfroe are a few of the names praising her writing in Untamed. 

I’ll be honest though and tell you that I really struggled with getting past the second chapter.  I love humor and engaging storytelling as well as the next person, but I do not believe the Bible needs to be dumbed-down or the characters in them overly moderninzed for a current reflection.  On page 28, Lisa is describing the scene where Mary and Joseph realize Jesus is missing and left behind in Jerusalem at the age of 12.  She writes, “I’m sure Mary’s face was tense with worry on the trek back to Jerusalem to find her misplaced son.  As soon as she and Joseph got to the edge of the Holy City, she pulled Jesus’s middle school picture—the one that showed His cowlick and braces—out of her wallet and began asking everyone if they’d seen Him.”  When referring to Lot and his wife she says, “I like to think that Lot and Mrs. Lot had just finished a floor-to-ceiling remodel of their kitchen.  Mrs. Lot had fussed and pouted until Lot finally dug deep in his pockets to spring for granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.  It was the kitchen she’d always dreamed of, and the desperate housewives of her cul-de-sac were drooling with envy,” page 14. 

These instances lessen as the book goes on, but it did distract me from the points she was attempting to make.  But I am glad I stuck with it.  I will admit I am a picky reader!  I have read a lot of good books—I have been impacted and changed by the ministerial devotion of several Christian authors.  While I did not care so much for Lisa’s style at times, her love and passion for Jesus is evident.  I learned a couple of things I will tuck away in my Bible knowledge box and I can honestly say she brought up enough awe-factor in this book to unsettle anyone’s tamed opinion of the Lion of Judah!

Multnomah Books graciously sent me an extra copy of Untamed that I will be giving away.  If you want to enter to win just leave a comment below about . . . well, anything.  J  You can have additional entries if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or are signed up with Feed Burner (all located on my sidebar).  Be sure and make a separate comment for each entry opportunity.  Also, please give your contact information if you do not have a website linked to your comments.  I want to be able to contact you if you win!

This giveaway is open until Friday, June 10th.  I’ll let pick our winner on Saturday.  Good luck!

Disclosure: Multnomah Books provided me Untamed for free for review purposes with no expectation that I would provide a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions shared are entirely my own. 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a quick minute and rate this review.  The selection of books from which I get to choose from increases according to my number of ratings.  Thanks so much!