Review: Jesus in the margins by Rick McKinley

Jesus in the margins
Finding God in the places we ignore

By Rick McKinley
2005, Multnomah Publishers


This book was not what I was expecting. Perhaps it was my prejudice, but it was a book I had been given, and I thought it was going to be about seeing Jesus in the poor and needy. How wrong I was! Rather, it was a very refreshing book about how we can find Jesus when we are in the margins of life – how we can start to view ourselves and the world the way Jesus does. This was a book all about the gospel, for those who are hurting, broken, and feel like they simply don’t fit into the conventional ‘religious’ lifestyle or perhaps feel like a misfit in many ‘church’ groups.

God doesn’t give much weight to society’s regard or cultural assumptions. He isn’t afraid of what people might think. In his crazy purposes and plans, he comes to scandalous margins of society in order to identify with those of us who live in those places.

This book is an antidote to the all-too-prevalent Christian self-help stuff that’s out there. This is a book that shows the ‘messy blessing’ of Christian community and the astounding mercy and grace with which God stoops to redeem us. It shows what God has done for us, and what he wants to achieve in us. This is not about being religious, it is about have a living relationship with Jesus.

The book is full of rich theological truths, yet written in a way that is both accessible and unassuming yet retains the beauty and poetry of God’s grace. In fact, he writes:

We’ve believed for so long that knowing about God is the same as knowing God… We have made knowledge our God and tried to master God as a subject instead of Saviour.

As C.S. Lewis put it: He’s not a tame lion. This book is a call to not simply know about God, but to actually drink deeply at the well of life that He is, to ‘reimagine’ ourselves, our new life, in Christ and what that means, to find our identity in him. This is the gospel in action.


What do you think?