Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"if you want to see God, sit in the smoking section.'" (Jesus Freak by Sarah Miles)

What could I add to these reviews?

  • Tony Campolo: "This is a passionate book"
  • Publishers Weekly "moving, compelling, provocative."
  • Rob Bell : "one of the most inspiring books I've ever read."
  • Annie Lamott "Sara Miles is amazing, a wild, unique, funny Christian, who puts her lack-of-money where her mouth is."
  • Brian McLaren "Sara Miles writes gorgeous prose...She's way too wound up for toned-down liberals, and way too out-of-the shrink wrap for straight-laced conservatives, and she calls both ti a brand new vantage point...beautiful, joyful, raucous, reverent." 

What an amazing, provocative book (bad title, dumb cover..but don't let that get in the way):

"Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead"
by Sara Miles.

But don't take my word/their word for it.
Here's just a quote or two from each chapter.
(I'm intentionally not even mentioning the most controversial part of the book (to most evangelicals, as I don't want anyone to be talked out of reading it unnecessarily)

"As one friend said, ruefully, when I complained about a filthy, hostile visitor to the [food] pantry, whom I kept wanting to bounce; 'Sara, if you want to see God, sometimes you have to sit in the smoking section.'"

"The thing that sucks about being a Christian is that God actually lives in other people"  (xvii)


"This recognition, this total union among God and Jesus and The Spirit [at Jesus' baptism], tears the heavens.  It rips them apart, just as they will be ripped at the crucifixion" (6)

"These victims are the key to every human story, because outcasts define the center." (10)

"Every culture has unclean people...In our time, for example,  you might have a cold, but you are a schizophrenic." (15)

"Jesus is healed of his racism by the Canaanite woman"  (18)

"anywhere there's food, spirit and matter intersect"  (21)

"An unadorned space...and the temptation always adorn it with cheerfulness, or hope, or even religion." (94)


"'Guess what?,' she said again, urgently. 'Hey, I'm telling you, that Jesus dude is sneaky.  He just hides in the bushes and jumps out and says, 'Hey, it's me!' and then you gotta follow him everywhere.'" (107)

"Zoe came to me and said, ...'I want to have a new life.'
'You are already in it,' I said.  (123)

"yet so many religious dogmas were basically just accumulations of surviving heresies" (137)

"But Jesus is real, and so,praise God so are we.  Every single things the resurrected Jesus does on earth, he does through our bodies" (166)

Here's Sarah:


  • "What's holy is holy because we touch it, not because we don't touch it!"
  • "I came late to Christianity, and discovered the inconvenient truth that a spiritual life is a physical life..."  
                    - Sara Miles, HT Mike Croghan


PS:  Oops, forgot to mention...

she's gay.

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