Recent Reads: Jesus is Better Than You Imagined by Jonathan Merritt

Jen Bradbury
Oct 24 · 5 min read

Jesus Is Better

What the book's about: Jesus is Better Than You Imagined  is about how the God we've construed (oftentimes in our image) compares to the God of Scripture. It's a book that juxtaposes Jonathan's own stories of Jesus with those found in Scripture and in the process, helps God to come alive in new ways. 

Why I read this book: I read this book for two reasons. First, I enjoyed Jonathan's previous book, A Faith of Our Own and as a result, was eager to read more by him. Secondly, I read this book as part of the research for writing my own book, The Jesus Gap

My favorite quotes from the book: 

- "God wanted to remind me that He is everywhere despite my best efforts to contain Him." 

- "God wanted to wow me and woo me and love me and surprise me, but I wanted to manage Him." 

- "I claim to believe in a God who can and wants to work miracles but my prayers rarely probe those places. I keep my requests limited to tasks I can well accomplish myself, perhaps because I'm afraid God won't come through." 

- "Following God is an imaginative exercise, which is to say it means living in a posture where I am always envisioning new realities that more closely align with the world God desires." 

- "Pursuing a life of honesty means to reveal who I truly am and assert that my story too belongs at the table." 

- "Faith is not just about trusting God for the what, but also the when and how." 

- "Church was not a landing place but a launching pad. Not a finish line but a starting block. I had made the church my single source of spiritual vitality. But the church is not the source but a conduit." 

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs up.

Who I'd recommend this book for: This is a book for anyone who wants to reexamine their faith. Because of the personal nature of the stories that Jonathan shares, I think it would work exceptionally well as a book for small group discussions, enabling people in them both to explore the God of Scripture and their own stories of faith.