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Oct 08

Sacrilege Book Review

Seth McBee

Sacrilege by Hugh Halter is one of the best books I've read on the understanding of truly who this Jesus of Nazareth is.  Hugh, in his normal wit, paints a pretty simple picture of Jesus and what he was about by taking the reader through the Sermon on the Mount. 

A great summation of what Hugh is trying to get at in the book comes in the form of this quote: 

Jesus really doesn’t care how much we know if our knowledge amounts to no change in our lifestyle.

I have huge hope for future Jesus followers because for some odd reason, everyone still seems to like Jesus, or at least the historical persona they’ve heard about. Yet honesty demands that Christians be the first ones to acknowledge the dissonance and disorientation we’ve caused millions of people. We have derailed their efforts to find and follow him. The pain of this is real, and we must fight against anything that plugs the keyhole and keeps the real Jesus from being seen.
My pain? It comes from the Jesus images I grew up with: the co-opted white-bread suburban Jesus; the institutional pope Jesus; a Jesus who looks more like an angry, judgmental cop or an out-of-touch Alzheimer’s patient. The Jesus I believe in and have always been crazy about is different from the Jesus so many around me describe and worship. And it’s not always stone walls and religious vendors that keep people from seeing a glimpse of the real Jesus; it’s often the layers of perception people have about Christians.

This quote is just the beginning of the journey that Hugh takes the reader on to find out who this Jesus is and what he was actually about.  He leaves no stone unturned, even speaking about tithing and how to handle money within a church family. 

Hugh strikes at the heart of whomever might pick up this book.  He hits hard at the religious who have muddied the waters of the image of Jesus and also at the one who has no idea who this Jesus really was and is. 

I have found with hanging out with Hugh that he not only loves talking and writing about Jesus, but he truly loves Jesus and desires others to see him as he truly is. 

The writing in the book won't win any scholarly awards and is probably way too low brow for most in the ivory towers...but that's exactly the's supposed to be a book written from a dude, to the normal every day person who seeks to understand Jesus and how he lived. 

I found the book to be challenging, inspiring and forced me to go back to the gospels to reread about this man I call the Messiah.  

I promise you won't be disappointed and in the end, you will be forced to change many of your views of what Jesus was about.  Hugh not only goes back to the Scriptures but takes on the form of storyteller to inform the reader in both the heart and the head.  

This is on the top of my list of practical understandings of the Sermon on the Mount and what it actually means for our lives and the life of Jesus. 

If you like books that challenge your missional understanding or your understanding of Jesus, take a look at not only Sacrilege, but this whole collection from Logos: 

Baker Missional Collection

It has a ton of great books all in one and makes it super easy to take notes and also look up specific subjects or terms in a book..highly recommend taking advantage of Sacrilege in the Logos format. 



2LEAVE A COMMENTTAGS: discipleship, mission
Mike Lee on Oct 30, 2013 12:26pm

Seth I agree. I really enjoyed the "low browedness" of the book too. However, there is a part of the book that I think would have been best left out. That being the story that took place between him and his neighbor.
I don't know, but I hope that at this time, Hugh realizes that he should have never responded to his neighbor in the manner that he did. I also hope that he probably now realizes that he should not have written about that occurrence.

Bonisile on Oct 8, 2014 7:19am

Jesus is the son of God