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Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  2,754 Ratings  ·  300 Reviews
Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.

In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, k
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Published October 12th 2011 by FaithWords (first published January 1st 2011)
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Ben De Bono
Nov 25, 2011 Ben De Bono rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
John Eldredge has been an incredible influence on both me personally and on my ministry. Wild at Heart and Waking the Dead are two of the most powerful books I've ever read. I use both regularly in my teaching and have encouraged many other people to read them. While his others books aren't quite on the level of those two, I consider most of what he's done (while a bit repetitive at times) to be excellent and highly recommended.

In some ways Beautiful Outlaw continues that trend. There are parts
Scott Wozniak
Apr 02, 2013 Scott Wozniak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give 6 stars I would. This may be the most impactful book--outside of the Bible--that I have read. It's a book about the personality of Jesus.

If you're looking for theology principles, like how God could become man or the Trinity, this isn't where you would get that. There are many fine books for that. This is about the personality--the character qualities and values of the person of Jesus. It's about his playfulness, his ferocity, his wild disregard for looking "proper", and his cunn
Oct 11, 2011 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
In this newest book by John Eldredge, “Beautiful Outlaw”, he takes the life of Jesus and puts it all into context for us. He gives us who Jesus really is, more than just saying he is both God and human. Eldredge lays out that Jesus was not only human, but had real feelings, and was just like you and me.
I absolutely love how Eldredge uses the scripture and intertwines the stories and brings out the hidden treasures. He brings up a point in one chapter that when something is written, something be
Brian Robbins
May 05, 2012 Brian Robbins rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
There were some good features about this book, but overall it was seriously marred by issues related to style, content and manner of argument.

On the plus side there were 3 particular areas of strength:

1) He validly challenged two widely accepted misunderstandings that can have profound affects on the possibility of developing deep relationships with God.

Firstly, the often anaemic, uninspiring & remote vision of Jesus. created by a failure to appreciate and represent the full and authentic
Aug 29, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, review-copy
Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge is almost like two books in one. The first half takes you through different personality traits of Jesus, emphasizing how human he was and how loveable his personality is. The second half is about us, how we can respond to this Jesus and live more fully through Him. Sprinkled throughout are Bible versus that help support what he is saying/illustrating. While I enjoyed the first chapters, the chapter about Jesus’ “Disruptive Honesty” really stuck out for me. Espe ...more
Jason Neff
Sep 09, 2011 Jason Neff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most important books I've ever read, and possibly THE most important book. Eldredge captures the person of Jesus in a way I've never seen or heard from the church. He dispels common misconceptions about who Jesus is to us.

The book triumphs with an appeal to look at reading stories about Jesus within the context of his real personality. Otherwise we struggle to absorb a number of separated stories that cause our view of Jesus to be one of confusion. Picturing Jesus with a real
Tina Simmons
Oct 13, 2011 Tina Simmons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that I have always had a problem with Jesus. Historically, I read Him as being a little snippy. I preferred the Old Testament to the New. Old Testament God made sense to me. He said no, we did it anyway, we got blasted. Fair enough. Jesus, on the other hand, is much more unpredictable. I just didn't really know what to do with Him. This is not to say that I didn't read the New Testament, I just did so with a little trepidation and not as much open enjoyment. I heard John E ...more
Dave Anderson
Feb 09, 2012 Dave Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Challenges Christians to live authentic Christian lives by moving away from religion and into a relationship. Eldridge encourages the reader to take a fresh look at how Jesus related to people as a part of his incarnation. He wants the believer to be rid of the stereotypical Jesus that is often depicted in so much of Christian art that tends to make him unapproachable or aloof.
Conversely, as one reads this book he must remember that Eldridge only relates the humanity of Jesus. A
May 06, 2012 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just finished writing a detailed review of this and the site froze and I lost it. So here goes the bulleted form:

-Love Eldredge's heart in this book
-The message of knowing the true Jesus personally rather than following rote religion is near and dear to my heart.
-Eldredge draws out aspects of Jesus that have long been neglected by the majority of the church.
-I think there is an unintentional sense of "out with the old, in with the new" in this book. There is a tone of flippancy when "cliche" a
Oct 06, 2011 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelved
As John Eldredge illustrates in his book Beautiful Outlaw, Jesus is God. And he is Man. That makes everything he did, is doing, and will do, so amazing. When he says, "there's not anything you could face that I haven't dealt with," he's not joking, or talking in some lofty God-above-it-all way. He's really been there.

Check out the rest of my review/reaction to Chapter 5: The Most Human Face of All at Tatter'd Pages
Tami Harris
Mar 14, 2014 Tami Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book! If Jesus Christ is important to you and you want to know him, this is a wonderful book that can help you. It doesn't matter what church you go to or what religion you are. If you truly want to know Jesus and not just know of him. If you want to learn how to have him in a more intimate, daily part of your life, then I would suggest this book. This is one that will definitely get read more than once.
J.S. Park
Dec 29, 2011 J.S. Park rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
John Eldredge, the manly man's author of Wild At Heart and Captivating, has written quite a manly work on Jesus. It's a frustrating, if at times well-written and unique journey, into the life of the most famous person in the history of the world. Such a daunting task is not lost on Eldredge, who bypasses the scholarly doctrine and gets right at the heart of Jesus, not always successfully.

We often project our own personality onto Jesus himself, as argued by Scot McKnight and counter-argued by N.T
Tom Roepke
Sep 03, 2011 Tom Roepke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is john's best effort yet.

"Reading the Gospels without the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off."

"The ravages of sin, neglect, abuse, and a thousand addictions have left us all a shadow of what we were meant to be. Jesus is humanity in its truest form. His favorite title for himself was the Son of Man. Not of God – of man."

"Sadly, for too many people, the Christ they know is too religios to love, too distant to experience and too rigid to be a sour
Malin Friess
Nov 08, 2012 Malin Friess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Eldredge's "Beautiful Outlaw" is a one of many recent books that likes to emphasize that Jesus was counter-cultural (Blessed are the poor, the meek, etc), subversive (in Mark Jesus heals but then proclaims, "don't tell anyone what I have done"), and Scandalous (he had dinner with thieves and tax collectors and allowed a prostitute to wash his feet with her hair). So this is a long line of more progressive evangelical books that focus on Jesus and deemphasize "religion" or otherwise known as "Eme ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Zach rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chapters 1-13 are incredibly valuable for any person's walk with Christ. I would recommend to anyone.

But chapters 14-16 need to be read with a lot of discernment. This is where the book began to go downhill for me. Some misinterpretation of Scripture; too much emphasis and foundation built upon extremely subjective experiences with Christ instead of built upon Scripture; downplaying of the role of the Church, the collective body of Christ... these chapters became rather painful to read, honestly
Oct 10, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, amazing glimpse into the heart of Jesus! I just finished this book last night. What an amazing reflection on the personality and heart of Jesus! I plan to reread this book many times to absorb all the wonderful, thought provoking, heart changing content. I have been challenged in my view of who Jesus is, and I have found myself falling in love with Him in new ways.

If you are a Jesus follower, this book will help you in becoming a more solid, dedicated, in-love-with-Him follower. If
I have to search for words to really explain what this book has done for me. It is broken into two parts - the first half of the book is an exploration of the personality of Jesus & the second half is a more practical, hands on "how" of sorts on letting Jesus be himself in your life. Both parts of the book are excellent. However, for me, it was the first half of the book that reignited my love for Jesus. It made him come alive to me in ways I had never noticed before while reading scripture. ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Booker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
Don't get me wrong. John Eldredge gets on his soapbox....many times. But, if you read through that, his points about who Jesus is and his place in your life is encouraging, uplifting, and powerful. Also, the first three of four chapters were a bit laborious for me. Luckily, Violet had read it and said to keep going because it gets better. So, in the end, I'm glad I did not give up. Even near the end though, I was having trouble with the take-aways for my life util the epilogue, which wrapped thi ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!! LOVE this book! So good… It really takes that boring picture that we may have on our walls of Jesus… And transforms it in our minds and hearts as to who He really is! He was human, he was funny, he was scandalous, he was fierce, and He IS calling us to His glory!!! I really love that in this book you get to see so many aspects of his personality while he was walking on earth here… Really changes your perspective in so many ways, as to how we think of Him! Like taking a fresh look int ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Eldredge's latest looks at the personality of Jesus. It looks at the events as recorded in the Bible and he says "now what kind of person would do that?" His answer is a playful, disruptive, and extravagant person. Looking at Jesus' personality, John goes on to say that He is someone we can fall in love with.

This book changed how I think of Jesus. I no longer think of Him as an unapproachable God, but as God who wants me to know Him and to be friends with Him. I now want Jesus to shine thr
Jan 15, 2013 Shawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Is there a Goodreads option for "I quit on this book"? There should be. Anyway, I quit on this book. Eldredge is a good writer -- visual, poetic -- and he seems like a guy who enjoys life. I bet he'd be fun to hang out with. But, he and I diverge sharply on a point of doctrine, and I can't get past it.

I like the basic premise of this book, that the personality of Jesus matters to the words of Jesus. I also love this phrase (Eldredge on what happens when our emails are read without our personali
Clay Sparrow
Oct 11, 2011 Clay Sparrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book removes the layers of fluff that humanity and even the church itself has put upon Jesus for decades and even centuries. It cuts to the heart of Jesus and who Jesus really is: God and Man. John writes, "The more we grasp his humanity, the more we will find him someone we can approach, know, love, trust, and adore." This book will help uncover his true humanity and therefore lead you into a closer relationship with him. Awesome!
My five stars are not because I think this book is perfect. My five stars are because this book made me go out and discover Jesus again for the first time in years. I may not agree with every little thing that is said, but I think it gives a good starting point for an awesome relationship with Christ.
Dec 06, 2011 Andraea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those all-time enlightening books. This moves the character of Jesus beyond that of, "Jesus is love," to the true makeup of His character as both humanity and divinity. It proved, through the various references, His playfulness, fierceness, generosity, humility, etc...and ultimately challenges readers to take on these same characteristics in their lives.
Oct 29, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for anyone who feels "flat" about their Christianity, or who is interested in the person Jesus but not the church. Elder's always had a good take on the way Jesus is misrepresented by religion, & he's especially critical of that here. I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but I would comfortably share this book with anyone.
Larry Foster
Dec 07, 2012 Larry Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! Everyone of all ages needs to dive into this to better understand Jesus and how real he was then and still is today. Many churches do not get it. They make relating and talking to Jesus very difficult and sometimes out of reach. This book opens up a new and vibrant perspective demonstrating how GOD wants us to engage with him. It's so easy!
Brian Nutsch
Apr 21, 2016 Brian Nutsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful outlaw. Jesus is held highly but we forget to realize his humanity, we forget his personality, we forget to truly and deeply love him. This book by Eldridge brings us back to the real unchanging Jesus! Read it!
Oct 04, 2011 3impressions rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If the idea of religion turns you off, then this is the book for you. John Eldredge brings to light the true personality of Jesus, not what many of us have believe due to religious influence. This is truly a life changing book if you are seriously about an intimate relationship with God.
Nathan Hess
Nov 06, 2011 Nathan Hess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opened my eyes to see that many times the Jesus I think I am worshipping is completely different than the Jesus I should be worshipping.This book bring out His real personality - his playfulness, his fierceness and his love - in ways I had never seen before. Highly recommended.
Hannah Settle
Dec 05, 2015 Hannah Settle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just a wonderful book that shows the true, beautiful nature of jesus. I was struggling with "religious fog" and now I know I just have to focus on Jesus. what a guy
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John Eldredge is an author (you probably figured that out), a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (which he hated), and spent his boyhood summers on his grandfather’s cattle ranch in eastern Ore ...more
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“He is the playfulness of creation, scandal and utter goodness, the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm; he is cunning as a snake and gentle as a whisper; the gladness of sunshine and the humility of a thirty-mile walk by foot on a dirt road.” 22 likes
“Now yes, yes, creation sometimes screams a confusing message—fear, pain, grief. Fire burns, rivers flood, winds go hurricane, the earth shudders so hard it levels cities. But you must remember—this was not so in Eden. Mankind fell, surrendering this earth to the evil one. St. Paul says that creation groans for the day of its restoration (see Rom. 8:18–22), making it clear that everything is not as it was meant to be. People come to terrible conclusions when they assume this world is exactly as God intended. (An assumption that has wrought havoc in the sciences.) The earth is broken.
Which only makes the beauty that does flow so generously that much more astounding. And reassuring.”
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