Reckless Love

The Scandal of Grace in a Performance-Driven World

John Newton

May/2018, 128 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640650251



Its momentum building, the “Jesus Movement” is unfolding, with Episcopalians longing to embody our branch of the movement in the world. John Newton’s contribution is this look at God’s reckless love. His aim is not for the head, but for the heart, to connect people with their passion and love for Jesus Christ, reawakening what may be dormant, because ultimately, it is not clever ideas but passion that mobilizes people. The Jesus Movement is not about our move toward God, but about a God who is for us in Christ Jesus, constantly moving toward fragile and broken humanity, recklessly loving us in all seasons and circumstances. Newton draws heavily from the gospels, and speaks to the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Each chapter begins with a gospel passage used to challenge the way we think about God, love, morality, grace, mission, evangelism, and the church. Three discussion questions in each chapter and the book can be used as a 10-week study, with groups discussing two chapters at a time. Chapters are intentionally short, and each unpacks a specific episode in Jesus’s life that illuminates the reckless love of God in Christ.

John Newton is Chief of Staff in the Diocese of Texas. He holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Theological Seminary. Newton is passionate about Christian formation and enjoys a ministry of preaching and teaching throughout the Diocese of Texas. He lives in Austin, Texas.

"Reckless Love is short, sweet, and delightful. I love John Newton's stories––his Facebook story, to name one, is amazing!––and I love the way he tells them. Funny, mildly self-deprecatory, and entirely easy of access, they bring the book completely to life. And they are all in service of a disarmingly accessible intro to the core dynamics of Christian life: calm, compassion, total mercy, infectious humor, and honest joy. Reckless Love is a charming introduction to, well, the Good Lovin' (Young Rascals) of God."––The Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl, retired dean and president of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania

"John Newton bravely calls us to see the reckless love of Jesus with fresh eyes. He weaves his own witness with the relentless (and often offensive) message of the Gospel. I was left remembering that mercy for the sinner is the only real relief."––The Rev. Sarah Condon, associate editor of the Mockingbird, cohost of The Mockingcast, and Episcopal priest at St. Martin's Church in Houston, Texas

"John Newton's Reckless Love clears away the cobwebs of fear, smallness, and perceptions of scarcity that seem to clutter the human condition with a wonderfully beautiful message––that we are deeply, profoundly, even 'recklessly' loved."––The Rev. Marcus Halley, rector of St. Paul's Church on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota

"Our grace-starved world needs to hear good news. Thanks be to God for what John Newton has written, offering hopeful reflections on the ministry of Jesus and the witness of saints, sharing stories of transforming grace. The good news of God's reckless love described in this book offers a lens that can guide us forward with confidence and courage in a world marked by fake news. Each chapter, concluding with engaging questions, invites the reader into that way of seeing. You and your community will be blessed by taking this book to heart."––The Rev. Jay Sidebotham, director of RenewalWorks

"John Newton reminds us that Jesus is with us in the broken places and Jesus is with us in our joy and celebration. On the floor in front of the church altar. At the bedside of a loved one where we keep watch. In the streets where we cry for justice. On the playground where laughter is carried on the wind. In the communities where we live. Jesus is here—and loves us . . . with love that is never-ending. With a love that is reckless."––Roger Hutchison, author of Jesus: God Among Us

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