Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

by John Eldredge


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Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things. But when we discover his true character-this man who made the wind, music and flying squirrels-suddenly all of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst forth with color and brilliance like fireworks.

Breaking Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW welcomes readers into the rich emotional life of Christ showing how they can experience the actual personality of Jesus in their daily lives in ways that will deepen their faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455525706
Publisher: FaithWords
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Pages: 225
Sales rank: 51,749
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John is part of the leadership of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. John earned his undergraduate degree in Theater at Cal Poly, and directed a theater company in Los Angeles for several years before moving to Colorado with Focus on the Family, where he taught at the Focus on the Family Insitute. John earned his master's degree in Counseling from Colorado Christian University, under the direction of Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. He worked as a counselor in private practice before launching Ransomed Heart in 2000. John and his wife Stasi live in Colorado Springs with their three sons.

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Beautiful Outlaw 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
JB2 More than 1 year ago
This is a book like no other. I have read many John Eldredge books (and loved them all) but this is one I plan to reread at least a few times each year. Eldredge introduces us to Jesus, but this is not the Jesus you thought you knew about. This Jesus not some ethereal spirit-man, he has a *personality* and what a personality he has! I remember bible teachings from years ago where the teacher asked the audience if they would have given everything up to follow Jesus if they had lived during the time he was on earth. I knew I wouldn't have. I *wanted* to say I would have, but I knew the honest answer was no. Here is the Jesus that you will fall in love with and can't help but follow. The best thing about this book is that once Eldredge has introduced you to Jesus, he tells you *how* to begin and continue to nurture this most vital relationship.
Brent_S More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Outlaw inspires me to relate to Jesus in new ways, like many of John's other books. Beautiful Outlaw focuses on the "man" in the personality of the God-man, namely Jesus. John describes how the humanity of Jesus is God's beautiful solution that enables us to relate to him personally. He argues that the humanity of Christ is as important as his sovereignty, and experiencing Christ's full personality is paramount to knowing him. He faults too many churches for letting the Deceiver distort Christ by being "highly invested in doing religion right." In other words, their focus is on our performance versus what Christ has done for us and how he has made himself available to us to experience real life. Biblically speaking, experiencing is the subtle and very Hebrew way of "knowing" someone or something. God leads the Hebrews into Sinai for 40 years in order to teach and test their hearts by experiencing what it means to be totally dependent on him for everything. This is God teaching them and us how to begin to "know" God. John unpacks Jesus' character one chapter at a time providing a channel to experience Jesus' playfulness, fierceness, generosity, honesty, freedom, cunning, humility, trueness, beauty and loving. By the middle of the book [pg 124], John really closes in on the crux of the barrier of experiencing God's full character. Specifically he writes, "Consider the natural human longing to be loved and admired". I would go further and say Jesus made each of us with a God sized hole in our heart that only he can fill. John's point is that we all desire to be loved unconditionally for who we are. So when Jesus relates to us with his humanity, we hide [see Adam & Eve]. We don't believe him because we don't think of ourselves as worthy enough to receive the promises of these personal characteristics. We don't believe we're worthy because our experience focuses on our performance, what we think and what others think. The solution is to focus on Jesus' performance, and on what Jesus says about us. John says, "Love Jesus. Let him be himself with you. Allow his life to fill yours. Everyday give him your life to be filled with his." John likes to quote George MacDonald. This quote isn't in the book, but it seems to sum up the barrier that John is trying to help tear down, "Man finds it hard to get what he wants because he does not want the best. God finds it hard to give because he would give us the best, and man will not take it."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to see the stories of Jesus you've heard all your life come alive in a new and refreshing way, this is the book for you. John Eldridge does a fantastic job of helping you see the personality of Jesus in a way you may not have ever considered. He helps you take off your stained glass vision to see who Jesus was as a man. This book will cause you to want to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus as you experience his rich personality. This book takes Jesus out of the stained glass, off of the flannel board, out of the church building and into reality.
Advntrt More than 1 year ago
This book paints a beautiful, clear, enticing picture of Jesus, when most of our images and pictures of Him have been clouded and distorted. I had never been encouraged or told to look for His personality in scripture - it's the missing piece to unlock the fullness of His life. If people could only see Jesus for who He truly is they would want Him! Eldredge does a masterful job of making it clear who He is and as a result I am more intrigued, excited, and expectant to follow Him and know Him in deeper ways!
jrwhite44 More than 1 year ago
John Eldredge's books have touched my life for many years. "Wild at Heart" literally changed my life as I discovered the wounds in my life that have affected me since childhood. His other books have been inspiring and challenging as well, but his newest book, "Beautiful Outlaw" is certainly the best so far. He paints a refreshing and honest portrait of Jesus, the man. Through unique insights, we discover the human side of Jesus - someone we can easily relate to and someone we desperately want to know on a deeper, more intimate level. John describes Jesus in terms we don't usually use when we think of our Savior, Jesus Christ - playful, extravagant, disruptive, scandalous, and cunning. But he also describes his humility, honesty, generosity, trueness, and beauty. Unlike the Jesus we have been taught about since Sunday School, Jesus is not religious. John states: If he were, the story would have taken place in a religious setting - the temple, perhaps, or at least a synagogue - and Jesus would have gathered them for a Bible study or a prayer meeting. Jesus doesn't even show up at the temple after his resurrection. He's at the beach, catching his boys fishing, filling their empty nets and then having them for breakfast. When we take the liberty to describe Jesus in human terms, many people will say that we are being irreverent. As John points out, that's the poison of religion: After all the nonsense that is repeated about Jesus being a gentle peacemaker, reading the Gospels is really quite a shock. We discover a Jesus who is in fact frequently embroiled in conflict - most of which he provokes himself (like healing on the Sabbath). And every single one of those clashes is with very religious people. As I read the book and looked honestly at the true characteristics of Jesus, I became more drawn to him. The fact that I have been a Christian for over 47 years was irrelevant. I want to know Jesus intimately, to walk with him, to become more like him, and to tell others about him. I was deeply moved my many of the illustrations - particularly of people who have discovered this Beautiful Outlaw: David left my office that day more hopeful, lighter, with a sense of drawing closer again to Jesus than he had experienced for years. In the collective witness of the church, there are millions of similar encounters. I have been present to hundreds personally, and over the years heard testimony of more than a thousand. Two things are true of every one of these encounters: Jesus' personality in them is utterly consistent with what we've discovered in the Gospels, and the fruit is a deeper love of Jesus because of the encounter with his personality. A final quote from John's book: If you are not drawing your life from Jesus, it means you are trying to draw it from some other source. I'll guarantee you that it's not working. Jesus was simply stating a fact of nature when he said, "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Matt. 16:25). Grab for life and it falls through your fingers like sand; give your life away to God, and you will be a person his life can fill. If want the real deal, if want to experience the lush, generous, unquenchable, unstoppable life of Jesus in you and through you, then surrender your self-determination. Lord Jesus, I give my life to you today, to live your life.
jonwh25 More than 1 year ago
In this newest book by John Eldredge, "Beautiful Outlaw", he takes the life of Jesus and puts it all into context for us. He gives us who Jesus really is, more than just saying he is both God and human. Eldredge lays out that Jesus was not only human, but had real feelings, and was just like you and me. I absolutely love how Eldredge uses the scripture and intertwines the stories and brings out the hidden treasures. He brings up a point in one chapter that when something is written, something behind those written words get lost in translation. They just don't get the same context as if you are looking at a person's face. To actually be able to see Jesus's playful nature in scripture was eye opening for me. I had always thought Jesus was just this straight laced guy who didn't really joke around. Eldredge dumps that right out the window showing stories straight from the Bible that show he has quite the sense of humor! The book goes on to show how Satan is using religion itself to poison the way we should be seeing Jesus. Do you pray "oh high and mighty God," or do you pray "Abba, Father"? Jesus came so he could know us on a personal level. Eldredge says that most people find Jesus as they expect to experience Him. Most people set boundaries for Jesus, but Jesus wants to just be Jesus. All we need to do is but to ask Jesus to show us who he really is. By doing so, it will be like when He turned those six stone water jars into 908 bottles of wine! Jesus came to set your heart free, to free us from the religious drapery. This book is essential In opening your eyes and helping you to gain better insight into the stories in your Bible. Eldredge says "Jesus is not merely a figure for devotions, He is the missing essence of your existence. Whether we know it or not, we are desperate for Jesus". He also states, "You are meant to share life with him - not just a glimpse now and then at church". I couldn't agree more. To really know and understand Jesus at this level, frees you in ways that you would never think were possible. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are meant to live in His truth. If you are struggling with who Jesus is, or with the loss of a loved one, this book is essential and will open your eyes to the healing Jesus has for you. I urge all you who are debating on getting this book or not, to not hesitate. This book will change your outlook on Jesus, and He will change your life forever if you just let Him be Himself.
CariK More than 1 year ago
This book will change your view of Jesus. John Eldredge has written a book meant to set the hearts of Christians held captive to the religiousity free. Beautiful Outlaw walks us through the gospels, the scriptural stories of Jesus' life and instills personality, motive and heart to each one. Seeing Jesus in this way has made me fall in love with him all over again. Seeing Jesus as truly human who experienced hunger, compassion, thirst, love, fatigue, and anger helped me to come to terms with my own human experiences. Looking at the gospels through the lens of shaping a picture of a personality has helped me understand the man more thoroughly and in so doing, understand God more thoroughly. His playfulness and sense of humor, His gentleness and compassion, His cunning and disdain for the religious spirit of the age are presented in a way that is easy and quickly understood. This is one of John Eldredge's best books to date. If you are looking for the story of the real Jesus.not some "creepy, religious" version of Jesus, this book is for you. If you are looking to set your heart free from religiousity and legalism, this book is for you. If you just want to learn more about the man and love more about our Savior, this book is for you. Read it..more than won't be sorry!Sc
ShermanWidener More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Outlaw. The perfect God took on the flesh of imperfect humanity because He loves us so much. That is Beautiful. Jesus challenged the religious leaders of the day because they had created laws upon laws upon God's law and they cared more for following the letter of the law than about the people for whom the law was written. They labeled him an Outlaw. John Eldredge explores in this book the character of Jesus as a human and challenges the spirit of religion that is the yeast of the Pharisees. It has spread as yeast is known to do. Do you know someone who is infected with it? Are you, yourself, infected with it? Be challenged to know Jesus, personally, as he intended. Be challenged to go to the Bible and read and understand what Jesus was like from those who were with Him instead of just flowing over passages without wondering what it would be like to be in His presence. I am starting my second read through this book, this time with a group of friends. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many years ago it occured to me that people who reject Jesus Christ, more often than not, reject the caricature that is presented to them. This caricature is created by centuries of religious tradition, superstition, and group dynamics. John Eldredge has written a book that sincerely, without rancor reveals the flaws of our religious thinking. He does this not to prove a theological point, but to introduce the real person Jesus Christ. If Christ is not all God, then we are lost. If He is also not all human, we are still dead in our sins, for the price has not been paid for lost humanity. This book asks us to consider the real Immanuel; God with us.
SharonMcB More than 1 year ago
I laughed...I cried....then I laughed again...really!!! This book, Beautiful Outlaw, takes you through the gamut of emotions. The real Jesus is portrayed here; the playful, cunning, honest, dangerous man who walked this earth. This man healed the sick, rebelled against the corrupt leadership, and shared his faith with his people. He was also a man who kept company with a motley crew of men (the disciples) and found humor in these relationships while guiding them. Many never see this side of Jesus in church and would be rebuked by their peers for even suggesting it. What an eye-opening event to look at the same bible stories with a new perspective! I can imagine this would rock some "religious" folks' worlds! But in order to have Christ in you, you need to be willing to know and accept the real Jesus. "To know him as he is, is to come home." What a succinctly stated and beautiful point. I have always loved Jesus, but to know and be able to love the real Jesus now as a result of this book is truly a gift!!
Mark-Leahy More than 1 year ago
The Beautiful Outlaw engages the reader to understand that the Great I Am, has a personality. Of course He has a personality. God sent his Son, as both, Son of God and the Son of Man. The book takes you through scripture after scripture and puts, I believe, a genuine and authentic personality on Jesus Christ. This book invokes for me both tears and laughter, but most important, a deeper relationship with our God!
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Offering a pleasingly different insight into the character of Christianity, John Eldredge’s Beautiful Outlaw invites readers to see a different side Jesus—in fact, a different side in each chapter. The author offers intriguingly human images, backed up with Biblical passages read, not as conventional theory, but as real life. The character that emerges is neither an ethereal squeaky-clean vision with glowing halo, nor a fiercely threatening lawyer, but rather a God who cares, listens, takes action, angers, loves… shown by an author who invites readers to find the words, and break through the gloom of “religious fog.” Author John Eldredge offers many examples from real life, other writers, and the Bible, making Beautiful Outlaw a fascinating read, as well as a challenging one. Multiple themes thread together, and even if you struggle to relate to one, another will catch your attention. When life’s profusion and fun invite the author to see God’s humor in creation, I find myself reading ahead to learn of Jesus’ “disruptive honesty.” Humility, truth and love might be easily recognized in Jesus’ life, but “cunning,” “scandal,” “playfulness”? Together the chapters weave a picture of a Christ who is more, far more, than the image in worship songs or the helpless babe grown up to bland sacrifice. Beautiful Outlaw is an intriguing book, a great basis for a Sunday school series, and an enjoyably challenging insight into the Christian faith. Disclosure: It was a great basis for a Sunday school series at our church.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been trying to look for a Spanish version of this book everywhere but, to no avail. I go to a Spanish speaking bible study/ service, and I think this book would be absolutely amazing to recommend. Does anyone know where to find a version of this in Spanish?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book with interesting thoughts about HOW Jesus lived... Gives a new perspective on the stories of the Gospels
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9/16/12 WOW!
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I have to tell you my dad has been talking about beautiful outlaw for months he said i have to read it so im ready to read beautiful outlaw
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This book meant so much to me. I kept visualizing the picture "Jesus Laughing". It made him so human.