Thanks to my "Great White North" pal, Nate Barnes of Redwood Church in Barrie, Ontario, I've been "recalled" to this incredible book. Nate told me that he was being challenged and encouraged by this intelligent, deep, and insightful writing. So, after a few nudges from the Spirit, I decided to join my buddy and start to re-read Augsburger's treatise.
Augsburger is not known for his writings on discipleship…he is a "pastoral care" guy noted for his books on conflict management, anger, and relational dynamics. This book departs from his normal genre and thankfully so…in a pastoral but pointed way, he challenges the reader to a "tripolar" spirituality…one that moves beyond believing in Jesus to doing and believing as Jesus did and believed. He labels this personal dynamic to be experienced and lived intentionally in a communal manner as "radical attachment".
I read this when it first was released in 2006…it was one of my favorite books then…and it still is now. This is not a book for the weak at heart. It is not a simplistic formula for successful living. It is a call to the type of relationships in the Kingdom that truly can change your perspective and actions if you take Augsburger's insights seriously. I've had to wrestle with some significant questions in light of this book – "Can I live this way? Do I want to live this way?" are two of those I've posed to myself…yet the one that suddenly assailed me was: "Hadn't I ought to live this way if I really want to be a disciple of Jesus?"