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Book Review – Into the Fray by Matt Mikalatos

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22 thoughts on “Book Review – Into the Fray by Matt Mikalatos

  1. Jonathan Warfield

    I tend to like books like this but also agree that they can easily go off the deep end. I read Milalatos’ book on the invisible Jesus and was impressed with his desire to know the true Jesus and not one fashioned after our imaginations.

    • ajcerda

      I haven’t read Invisible Jesus yet Jonathan but I want to now.

  2. I have never read Milalatos but being from the area too I would like to support him. Sounds like his books are good. I really like the sound of this one.

    • ajcerda

      Ryan I think you would enjoy it.

  3. Marla

    Love Mikalatos!! He’s actually pretty funny but that doesn’t come out a lot in this book since it is more of a serious book.

  4. Azura

    Wow! I really NEED this book lol! I’m always stammering and sounding odd. I’m like “Hey Jesus!” and everyone looks to see if he’s in the room or if I’m cursing! Then I try to recover by saying something like “Praise Jesus!” and everyone leaves. God help me lol! Buying this now 🙂

    • ajcerda

      I get it Azura… things don’t always come across as smooth as we imagine.

  5. Hipster? LOL!!! Good review again I think I need this but maybe its different here in Russia because the don’t respond to the same kind of evenglism stories are good here of what God has done so maybe a good one for here too?

    • ajcerda

      Yes, I should probably make a note that the hipster comment was hearsay. It has now been confirmed that he is not hipster. But don’t let that detract from the book! I don’t know the Russian culture like you and Joseph do having lived there now for many years, but the book encourages a conversational approach of sharing your story. If that is effective there you will appreciate this book.

  6. Ha ha ha. I love the whole hipster thing. I sent the review to some friends and we had a small debate over whether I am a hipster. Most people definitely say no (although I do have a pair of skinny jeans).

    I really felt like you understood the heart of the book, and I am so thankful you took the time to write this review. THANK YOU!

    • ajcerda

      Ha! I’m glad that it was taken well and you are welcome.

  7. Kahrl

    Worldview differences- care to elaborate?

    • ajcerda

      Hello Kahrl, actually I’d rather not elaborate for three reasons. First of all the difference are probably less worldview (in the true weltanschauung sense of the word) and more emphasis. Secondly the differences were not explicit and very well could be imagined nuances. Lastly, even if they are real and not imagined, they are so slight that I don’t think it would improve the review by bringing them up. In fact it would detract from the author’s purpose which is so good that I don’t want to distract the readers.

      If you really want to know in order to decide to buy the book you can email me privately and we can chat. Or just buy the book! I promise you will be happy that you did!

      • Kahrl

        Okay fair enough. You usually don’t shy away from the big issues as they arise so I trust you. I’ll get the book. Just got paid so I can!

  8. Your review piqued my interest Aaron so I checked out his YouTube videos. Very interesting. I like his approach. I’m getting the Jesus book first because that is something that has been on my mind lately but after that will probably get this one too. Sounds like he has a heart for authentic discipleship like your own. Also him commenting on your post shows he’s down to earth. My kind of writer!

  9. Lenette

    I feel I am so far away from being ready for something like this Aaron. I know church and moralism having been a faithful Catholic for so long but now that I have discovered a new faith I’m not even sure where to begin. If it is true that my good works don’t get me into heaven and it looks like it is true then everything I have been putting my hope in is shattered and I only have God before me. How can I reach others and share my story when I have been living the wrong story for so many years? I have nothing left but Christ and am not sure how to tell people that. Well I’m rambling on again.

    • ajcerda

      Lenette I have been following your story ever since your first comment on this blog and I respectfully disagree with you! God is doing something amazing in your life. It wasn’t that long ago when you were firmly convinced that your morality entitled you to a place in heaven. Many of us here have watched and prayed for you as God was revealing the good news of how he rescued us before our very eyes. Your story is amazing and I have a feeling that most people in the world believe that their good works merit God’s favor. Your story is one that millions need to hear!

  10. Ken Voth

    What I don’t understand is all of the contemporary emphasis on telling your story. There is only one story to tell and it isn’t about me. People don’t need your narrative they need to know who God is, how depraved they are and what the solution is.

    • ajcerda

      Hello Ken, I agree with what you say we need. It is a good thing to recognize the vast distance between what God requires and where we are in our sin. Without this knowledge the good news is not really all that good. If we don’t need to be rescued then what is so good about the news that we have been?

      Where I think we depart is in how to communicate this message. People simply don’t believe in a big story anymore. All they believe is their personal narrative and the narrative of others. What they lack is a belief in a metanarrative…or a larger story. If there is no metanarrative then there is no divine plan, of there is no plan there is no plan of redemption and no redemptive history. All that is left is the individual trying to make sense of his own narrative. This is the fruit of what Lyotard called the Postmodern condition in his book by that title. In it he defined the postmodern condition as an incredulity (distrust) of metanarrative (a larger story). Lyotard said if he could simplify the postmodern condition to an extreme, that would be it in a nutshell. Evangelicalism has spent a lot of time battling postmodernism but I believe we are fighting the wrong battle. We were quick to pick up the theme of subjective truth and for good reason, but the line in the sand is not there. The postmodern belief in relative truth and no absolutes is a symptom of their belief in a lack of metanarrative. If there is no big story after all, then the only story is my own. My story, my morality, my truth.

      So how do we take the message of the bad news and the glorious good news to people who deny any form of providence guiding history? How do we demonstrate that history is not random but on a very specific trajectory guided by a providential hand? We meet them in their story. We tell our story and how in our story the bad news of judgement has been overthrown by the good news of “it is finished”.

      I would encourage you to pick up Lyotard if you can get your hands on his book. It’s a short read. I have a copy I can lend you if you can’t find one or if money is an issue. Just send me a note on my contact page with your address and I will get it to you to borrow as long as you need.

      I think Out of the Fray is quite possibly the best book that I have read on practical ways to speak to this generation. It isn’t about changing the message. It is about speaking the language of our culture. Same message different expression.

  11. Anton

    I just got my copy. Read the first chapter and I know I am going to like this. He’s off to a great start!

  12. Ken Voth

    Aaron I wanted to follow up and thank you for your gracious reply. I hadn’t thought of it in those terms before.I considered it, picked up the book and just finished it. I’m glad I did.

    • You are welcome Ken. I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

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