This Beautiful Mess (Book Review)

Life is hard.  I’ve coped best with life when I’ve been God-focused and kingdom-focused.  It’s no wonder then why Rick McKinley’s book, This Beautiful Mess, would appeal to me with this promise, “In the mess of everyday life, you can live in the beautiful presence of the kingdom.”  For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. 

Before I get into the content, let me first commend Pastor McKinley’s writing style.  Many of the topics could have been heavy and hard.  However, with elegance and grace, his words draw in the reader helping us to marvel at his topic: God’s creation.  Examples from his own church, Imago Dei Community, help the reader to imagine the possibilities and avoid getting bogged down in theological ideals.
The book with its oddly attractive title is about how, “Jesus invites us to live out the historical reality of His kingdom in our contemporary post-everything culture.”  The book breaks down into three sections (four if you count the appendix, which is often a “throw away” section in most books, but not so here): 1) Discovering the Kingdom, 2) Re-Visioning Life in the Kingdom, and 3) Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom -- knowing, seeing, and doing.  McKinley expertly weaves scripture and practical application to convincingly argue for how we should live among His creation, His kingdom.

My only knock on the book is addressed by McKinley himself in the Appendices.  The book was all too focused on this world and this life and not enough, for my taste, about God’s glory and eternal salvation.  To be fair, I was looking for something for which the book was not intended.  In Appendix 1, McKinley encourages us to look beyond the dichotomy between the gospels of salvation and kingdom.  He warns us that focusing too much on one loses sight of the transforming power of the other.  Until I read the appendix, which I, admittedly, skip more often than not, I had the uneasy sense that McKinley was too focused on the creation and not at all (or at least not sufficiently) focused on the Creator.  In the end, everything about the kingdom and the reasons to practice the kingdom mindset is important only because Our Lord and Creator is worthy of our praise.

NOTE: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Mr. Lin,

    My name is Derral Chen and I'm a reporter of World Journal also known as Chinese Daily News.I read your story few days ago on the Chino Champion.I would like to interview with you about how you support children in the communities.Thanks. My phone number is 310 561 7462.

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