Wilson, Jared C. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2017. 240 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Westminster for less.
Jared C. Wilson currently serves as the director of content strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Consequently, he is also the managing editor of For The Church. He has written numerous books and also blogs at The Gospel-Driven Church.
Divided into ten chapters over 240 pages, this book is written with the modern reader in mind. In true Jared Wilson form, the book is centered on the importance of the gospel in your every day life. Each chapter begins with the phrase, “My gospel.” Doing so helps the reader to understand that the gospel of Jesus Christ is your gospel if you have been born again. It is your gospel to use and abide by and run to when you fail. The opening chapter considers the importance of soul maintenance while chapter two hits close to home in discussing how the gospel is good news for losers.
He proceeds through eight more chapters that shows how the gospel impacts and speaks directly into your life.
Wilson’s writing style is very much influenced by social media. He is full of quips and one-liners that keep the reader engaged in such a way that the pages seemingly turn themselves. Some of his one-liners are set apart in one-sentence paragraphs that scream to be shared on social media. This is not necessarily a negative but was extremely evident to me as a reader and reviewer.
The content of this book is what drives its readability, however. Wilson is able to dig in below the surface of superficiality and unearth the matters of the heart. Chapter six, “The Revolution will not be Instagrammed” should be must reading for any believer who attends worship services and has joined, or is looking to join, a local church. Chapter nine needs to be read by anyone considering the good news of the gospel to be out of their grasp.
Ultimately, Jared Wilson offers a wonderful work on the importance and messiness of discipleship in the context of real life. He confesses that we mess it up (more often than we want to admit!) but that only means that the gospel is that much more important to our daily lives.
There are many books on discipleship that have been used greatly in the lives of numerous Christians. The Imperfect Disciple will undoubtedly takes it rightful place on many book shelves. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with living out their Christianity in the context of everyday life. While it is a quick read, its truths are profound and will impact any reader for years to come.