Skip to main content

Performance free living

Saving the saved by Bryan Loritts

Pastor Bryan Loritts in his new book, Saving the Saved, brings to the foreground two twin themes that will help readers in their journey of faith; one, the kingdom of this world is a meritocracy and two, Jesus kicked this meritocracy to the curb and calls us his children, not dependent upon all of our vain efforts.  Bryan speaks to those who have fallen on hard times and those who are smooth smiling, his goal is to “refuse to have our joy tethered to the external events of life or to our personal strivings to measure up.” (22)

One short sentence sums up what Bryan is trying to teach us in chapter one.  After looking at God’s loving kindness and mercy, Bryan writes, “God didn’t wait for me to get cleaned up before he loved me…Performance-free, unshakeable love.” (39)  The quote he looks to is from Romans 5:8 and Bryan focuses on the “while we were yet sinners,” the mercy and love of God goes down deep to save us while we are enmity with God.  It’s a joy that God reached down and saved us in our wickedness because our strivings to become right before God always fail, we go up and down in a quest for holiness and fail to see our Savior.

Bryan brings out a concept of third-way theology that I also believe is deadly in our churches.  Third-way theology glosses over sin, extramarital affairs, greed, and add just enough Jesus to your life to make you acceptable (90-91).  This kind of living is deadly because it seeks to put one foot in the world and one in the kingdom, but we know that Jesus says we cannot serve two masters.  Bryan gives two indicators of a performance-free living for Christ; do I grieve over my sin and does this grieving lead to a full change (repentance)?  These two things go hand in hand.

I really enjoyed this book and also enjoyed learning from Bryan’s father many years ago.  This book will bring grace to people in the midst of a merit based culture.

Thanks to BookLookBloggers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…