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The Bibles of A Believer

Jesus Without Borders - A Book Review

 I received a copy of  Jesus Without Borders, written by Chad Gibbs, from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. The opinions expressed here are my own. This book released in April!


We can read through Acts without giving it much though. Jesus spent 40 more days on earth. The Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost. Paul got involved. Many churches started. Missionaries went everywhere. The end.


But when we think through the ramifications of all that happened over those 30 years! The Son of God, crucified then resurrected. Walking among the living. The Spirit enabling people to understand languages not of their native tongue when He took up residence inside of them! Paul and other leaders visiting churches made up of varying social classes and nationalities and religions. But by the grace of God did the church emerge and continues doing Kingdom work to this day.


It’s easy for us to not give it all much thought when it comes to our modern-day churches as well. We assume the church we attend in our little corner of the world is the way everyone worships. 


But, again, if we’d think things through...


Author Chad Gibbs got to thinking and that’s how he came up with the idea for “Jesus Without Borders.”

What if living my entire life in the buckle of the Bible Belt had given me not only a narrow view of the world but also a narrow view of my faith?


He set out to visit 13 countries around the world, sightseeing and getting to know the Christian culture for one week in each area. He took various friends and family along with him on these trips. He shares with his readers travel stories, meals he enjoyed, churches he visited, people he met. Educational yet light and humorous. You feel like you’re sitting down with a friend after they’ve returned home from an exciting adventure. He readily admits spending such a short amount of time in each place does not make him an expert, but we can all learn some things from what he experienced.


In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...

The tunes were familiar Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, and Jesus Culture songs, but the words were very Portugese.


In Barcelona, Spain...

[Sagrada Familia] didn’t look like any church I’d ever seen, mostly because I’ve never seen churches on other planets. The front facade, or maybe it’s the rear facade, it was hard to tell, looks like it is made of melting wax. Despite the fact construction began in 1882, the church is still not finished.



Photo Source: iPhilipp

And they don’t just ask if I’m a Christian and drop it when I say yes; they talk about all the horrible things the church has done throughout history.


In London, England...

During the service, I felt the chill bumps on my arms as the words to the Magnificat echoed through what, for 252 years, was the tallest building in London.


But in England there doesn’t seem to be any benefit of being a lukewarm believer; you get all the ridicule without the benefits.


In Kampala, Uganda...

‘Africa is poor,’ Godfrey continued, ‘but I think mostly a poverty of mindsets. God has endowed us with resources, but our unredeemed culture of corruption and selfishness holds us back.’


In Nagoya, Japan...

Buddhists and Shintos believe that converting to Christianity angers your ancestors, who in turn might curse your entire family.


Reading this book will open your eyes. 

I know what I learned from these trips in the short term, but what they will be teaching me years from now, I can only imagine.


There’s no such thing as cookie cutter Christianity. Even if we try to make it so. God continues to be at work all throughout the world. And as always, He invites us to join Him. 

And you might find yourself somewhere like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, singing hymns in a cave with pilgrims from around the world. And you might stop and think, This is weird; I have some important doctrinal disagreements with a lot of these people. But then you’ll remember you’ve all come to this cave in the West Bank to worship the same Savior.


With this post, I'm joining Stacey Thureen and her #FindingStability link-up. I've also linked this post up over at Circling the Story's "Literacy Musings."

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