Jesus with Dirty Feet: A Down-to-Earth Look at Christianity for the Curious & Skeptical
Reviewed by Paula R. Kincaid, we’ll be able to see him for ourselves.”
I ordered this small, 125 page book just because the title intrigued me. When it arrived, my curiosity was further piqued. The text is formatted in what Everts calls “sense lines,” not in paragraph style. The ancients, he says, “used this way of writing to help them contemplate what they were reading.”
By illustrating parallel thoughts and isolating key words, Everts says that sense lines, “help us to slowly chew on the distinct ideas present – to weigh and judge ideas instead of just blindly swallowing or instinctively spitting out everything.” While I wouldn’t want everything I read to be in this format, I believe Everts has achieved his goal – encouraging thoughtful reading.
Liberally laced with humor, the book is a simple, refreshing view of Jesus Christ. That combination makes Jesus with Dirty Feet a hard book to put down.
Chapter one, “Christianity: Smelly Fisherman,” says that to understand Christianity, readers must go back to the beginning. “For starters, Jesus was not a Christian. He never asked anyone to become a Christian … He simply called people to follow him. That’s it. That, despite its simplicity, is it.”
And the first people he called to follow him were two regular guys, Simon and Andrew – simple fishermen. “Here was the birthplace of a way of life, of a reality that would change the world forever.”
Other chapters deal with Jesus, Christians, repentance, church, prayer, the Bible and salvation. Each chapter has its own title page which includes a short statement relating to the chapter title. In “Repentance: 180 Degrees,” Everts states that “Most folks think repentance is about sitting remorsefully in the corner. But it turns out it’s impossible to repent while sitting down.” Such a thought provoking statement. Many times while reading, I stopped – thought – re-read – and finally agreed with what I was reading.
“Repentance assumes we are going the wrong way,” Everts writes. “This is either the most disconcerting or the most honestly refreshing fact about repentance.”
You need me
Everts calls salvation a beautiful thing that has always been unpopular. “Salvation implies need. … A savior is someone who is utterly, desperately, fully needed. … Over and over and over Jesus’ repeated, steady message was: ‘You need me.'”
Jesus offers life – abundant, extravagant, fruitful, powerful, joyful – says Everts. “Having overcome even death, Jesus was in the unique position to say in a sure voice, ‘I have life for you.'” And the life is eternal.
For many, this was – and still is – a frustrating message. “It would be silly to allow our enlightened third-millennium pride to falsely tell us that salvation, while a popular concept in Jesus’ ‘superstitious age,’ is useless to us ‘enlightened ones.’ His message found enemies and ridiculers the moment it reached human ears. … There’s no question that many people in Jesus’ day hated his simple, outrageous claim: ‘I have life for you.’ And people haven’t stopped hating it since.”
This simple little books speaks loudly and clearly about who Jesus is, and about the life He has to offer each of us. Read the book, and “May the real you respond to the real Jesus.”