Eyes Wide Open
I strongly recommend everyone grab a copy of Eyes Wide Open, a fairly new book by Jud Wilhite, pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. Fairly new because it has taken me a couple of months to work my way through it. If there is any primary reason for my taking so long to read the book other than being busy, it is that it requires thought. No doubt there are plenty of books about our identity as humans through Jesus Christ and much of what Jud presents in this book reaffirms that. In my opinion what seperates this book apart from others is that:
1. It is not deeply psychological and so I don’t find myself combating some nuanced secular theory. Jud firmly establishes his writing on scriptures and THEN shows how human research (secular or religious) has proved what the Bible says as true.
2. Though Jud relies so heavily on Scripture he does so with out be dogmatic. There’s no secondary agenda here trying to bash secular humanists. There’s no attempt to place his thoughts solely as his own and superior to anyone else.
3. He takes the time to go beyond the practice and discipline of seeing ourselves the way that God sees us and forces us to get out of our comfort zone and apply what we have learned. This is done largely through stories and personal experiences.
The thing that I love best about Jud’s writing is his willingness to invite us into his ugly moments. It seems to me that most writers/pastors are too afraid to admit they’ve messed up and use that as an example of what not to do. Instead they find someone elses story and use that instead or perhaps a less harmless truth that “everyone” can accept. (You’ll have to read the book to find his account of “drywalling” the laundry room.)
My favorite quote from the book (towards the back in case you were wondering if I read the whole thing): “The Bible focuses more on truth that makes absolute claims on my life. I should be first concerned about knowing this truth and living in it. By living in the truth, I will be authentic. By sharing the truth of God’s Word through my life and love, I will see culture impacted for good. This posture is one of truth over inauthenticity.” p. 169
This quote sums up for me, as a pastor, the struggle of the church today to be found as a place with real answers and real people and not just a place to hear THE answer. Surely Christ, through his blood, has freed me from the bondage of stupid, selfish, damaging decisions. But I am still a human and continue to make those decisions though I am learning to rely more and more on the power of Christ, through His Spirit to become all that he has created me to be.
It’s a great book. Go and get a copy today.