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Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,005 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today's media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Sco ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers
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 ·  1,005 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Wonderful book that reads like a breath of fresh air! Every chapter was solid. It seems like nowadays it's all about taking sides for believers and non-believers alike, being pro-this or anti-that and winning arguments...especially on social media. We all have our own self-salvation projects wanting to be right all the time about whatever x issue (me included), but Sauls does a great job of helping us look honestly at the various issues (politics, abortion, sexuality, to name a few), but through ...more
Michele Morin
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

“What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of mind I call, ‘Christianity And.’ If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian coloring.” Screwtape

In Part One of Jesus Outside the Lines, Scott Sauls counteracts Screwtape’s advice from the pit. To walk with Jesus outside the lines of my political leanings or my hobby-horse-of-the-week is to embrace the notion that not eve
This book is excellent! This book should be read by every Christian. Sauls’ take on the big issues of our time is a refreshingly non-partisan one. If you are a particularly politically partisan Christian, this book will challenge you greatly - to your benefit.

The chapters on politics, abortion, sex, and homosexuality alone are some of the best I’ve ever read on these subjects. Scott Sauls’ wisdom and insight on the fact that the Christian position on any issue in the public eye is typically one
Jordan Shirkman
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scott Sauls is winsome. His honesty and humility are inspiring and compelling. The Jesus we worship is a Jesus who defied expectations. Sauls tackles debates relevant to the modern Christian (conservative vs. progressive, protecting the unborn, the local church vs. individual faith, sexuality, etc.) empathizes with both sides, and walks the line in a Christ-like way.

As America becomes more politically divided, we as Christians must become more like our Savior. I finished this book very much wan
Kathryn White
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Somewhere along the line Evangelical Christians in America have become the antagonists rather than the protagonists. Instead of being the heroes and champions of the poor, the disenfranchised, the marginized, and the broken, we have become the rich, the entitled and the all too quick to judge self-appointed moralists who have it right while the rest of the world (including other kinds of Christians) have it wrong. It is an uncomfortable place to be and I have often wondered how I and others had ...more
Starr Cliff
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Refreshing, true, encouraging, thoughtful. This book made me feel hopeful and grateful about my faith in God and Broad but true. There are many divisions among people of faith but there is a way forward and through that allows both truth and grace. This author was new to me but I plan to pick up his other books. I appreciate his careful and loving treatment of those outside our faith and of those inside the faith with differing opinions.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Very thoughtful and encouraging perspective. I didn't agree with all of it, but I respected his insight.
Jillian Vincent
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a refreshing and insightful read. I found myself saying “YES!” to so many chapters. Lots I want to discuss with others in this book. My husband and I have been having some of these conversations for years. Favorite chapter (if I have to pick) was probably “hypocrite versus work in progress”. Several of those pages I read and reread.

I was given this book by my counselor after I discussed a well loved chapter by Brene Brown- “Speak Truth to Bullshit”, where she talks about how we often
Amy Kannel
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity, gospel
On the whole, I found this immensely wise and likable. Sauls writes with both grace and truth so very well. He is so refreshingly honest about his own struggles and shortcomings, yet so hopeful because of the gospel of Jesus.

I did a whole lot of underlining, especially in the first half of the book. I found it less powerful and insightful as it went on, and even wondered how exactly the later chapters related to the main thesis. Part 1 is definitely the book's strength, as Sauls discusses the a
Jessica Thompson

This book is a needed resource for the church. It caused me to step back and look at what I believe and ask myself why. It also caused me to fall more in love with Jesus.
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good. The influence of Tim Keller was easily discernible, but it was Scott's gentleness and vulnerability that really stood out for me.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Refreshing, engaging, honest, and wise. Scott Sauls fleshes out so many of the things that have been on my heart in this polarized culture and has given me much to ponder. I love how he does not trade or water down the Truth of the Gospel in exchange for compassion and empathy, but rather he demonstrates how compassion and empathy are an essential part of the gospel and reveals how often we as Christians are lacking in these things. Sauls does a commendable job of speaking honestly to a number o ...more
Yvette Mcintire Ling
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who do I follow? As a Christian, I'd like to say, "Just Jesus." But in reality we follow others in politics, social issues and even how we do church. This book breaks it down and helps you to find that there is a road of freedom if we stay out of the extreme ditches that ensnare our thinking and threaten to sideline our effective witness to the watching world.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book! It’s so easy as Christians to fall off on either side of big issues leaning more towards truth or more towards love. Sauls offers a way to cut through our traditions and unbiblical tribal views, and return back to critically examining what God thinks about issues; what God cares about, and how He would have us engage with and love others.
Jana Johnson
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking and humbly written. Already wanting to go back and re-read certain portions.
Rob and Liz
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This a practical and insightful book written by an honest pastor who we trust. It was particularly poignant to read this book in the throes of the Trump era.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

The question, then, is not whether Jesus is on our side but whether we are on his. This is the appropriate question not only for politics and government but also every other concern.

We should feel “at home” with people who share our faith but not our politics even more than we do with people who share our poli
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a "must read" to for Christian perspective on culture and how to view our current world.
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With a title like this, who would not be curious about reading this book and finding out exactly what the concept of "Jesus outside the lines" means.

Yes, that is what caught me - the title; the watercolor art was also quite intriguing for me, particularly because of the play on prime colors. Boxes around the title and blending in the colors - I knew I was interested in knowing what was inside the minute I saw the outside. And I was not disappointed. And I could not put this book down. I even re
Robert Durough, Jr.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Tyndale
It’s been a while since I’ve struggled with how to review a book, but here I sit typing and deleting my introductory sentence over and over. I’ve never heard of Scott Sauls, but I respect him and what he’s attempting to do with this new book, Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides. The thesis is great, the introduction is wonderful (this should be made freely available on a blog somewhere [Edit: An hour after posting this, Scott sent me this link: http://s ...more
Jonathan Newman
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-issues
Essential read for our socially and politically heated times.

All too often it seems like Christians’ lead foot is to divide and conquer. Why do we always have to have the last word? Why are we quick to point out others’ sins but fail to admit our own? And why is it so easy for Christians to draw lines and burn bridges with each other?

This book is a liberating and refreshing take on navigating the sea of differences and disagreements faithfully and without becoming judgmental or contentious, both
Andy Kerckhoff
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of Christian Living books over the years, but it's been awhile since I've read one. I bought Scott Saul's book on a lark just because I am a distant acquaintance of his, and I like to support up-and-coming authors. I expected it to be decent, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book and will re-read it in the future. Scott thinks like I think, but he puts all the right words to it and has all the right detailed support. But it's not just his thoughts, it's his words and ...more
Michael Collins
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sauls does a great job engaging current controversies and conversations we are all having inside of the church and outside. While the cliche "What Would Jesus Do?" may seem tired and out of date, the church should never stop asking the questions "What did Jesus do?" and "What did Jesus say?" Sauls does just this by bringing to light the life and words of Jesus on the value of life, judgement, church involvement, sin and addiction and a host of other hot topics. Perhaps the best thing I can say a ...more
John Sagherian
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I just finished readying Scott Sauls' "Jesus Outside the Lines" - wow! In this day of so much polarization this is a very good call to re-examine our commitment to follow Jesus Christ and how that plays out in our everyday thinking and living. I strongly recommend this to any Christian interested in living out their faith.
JD Cliff
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. When my own kids get old enough to tackle some if these issues, I'd love for them to read through it with me. The entire idea of being friendly to all schools of thought and yet uncompromising to what we hold's not talked about enough. It's such a tension and this author has a fresh view for the avid reader.

Stefanie Kellum
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
*I read an ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss.
Fran Parsons
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book! Actually give it 4.5 stars! Would definitely recommend it.
Jerry Hillyer
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: Jesus Outside the Lines

Author: Scott Sauls

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Year: 2015

Pages: 210

Disclaimer: Happily I was provided a free copy of Jesus Outside the Lines via Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my free and unbiased review of the book. Joyfully, I present to you my review--free of additives, preservatives, and sugary marshmallow shapes. Just my undiluted opinion, free of charge, here at Typepad and around the web at such places as GoodReads, Amazon, and elsewhere. Thanks
Cheryl Durham
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal read. Our Sunday School class just finished this book. The author was looking at the Christ story and how sometimes taking sides is unavoidable. But, it is the hope that the side that is taken is that Christ lived and died, rose and ascended and is soon to return. It is hoped that even when taking sides is unavoidable that it is taken in such a manner that would be blessing to HIM.

There, as we know, are many that can explain anything away. They can choose to look at Buddhis
Morgan Bradham
I'd encountered this idea before, but I'm truly glad I read this particular take on the matter. Sauls' book directs itself toward primarily Protestant audiences; I enjoyed approaching the concept from another perspective. I don't identify as Protestant, nor do I agree with the full scope of Sauls' theology, in detail. I am however romanced by his overarching message.
Sauls argues an applied theology of Jesus' teachings promotes the idea of a Gospel already thriving outside the "lines" -- politic
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it

I appreciate what Saul is attempting to do here, that of humbly engaging with Christians on shared ground, and advocating for an acceptance of each other, and of society, in a more Christlike manner.
The issue then, is that almost nothing new is stated here, and is rarely stated better here then in books by other theologians. The other issue, is that Saul attempts to to cram far to much into this book. He attempts to tackle race, politics, religion, sex, gender and theology all in one book.
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Scott Sauls serves as senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives with his wife Patti and two daughters, Abby and Ellie. Previously, he was a lead and preaching pastor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he worked alongside Dr. Timothy Keller. Scott has also planted churches in Kansas City and St. Louis and is a frequent speaker at confer ...more

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“Christianity always flourishes most as a life-giving minority, not as a powerful majority. It is through subversive, countercultural acts of love, justice, and service for the common good that Christianity has always gained the most ground.” 8 likes
“Theologian Donald Carson writes: Ideally . . . the church itself is not made up of natural “friends.” It is made up of natural enemies. What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything else of that sort. Christians come together . . . because . . . they have all been loved by Jesus himself. . . . They are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’ sake.[13]” 4 likes
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