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Paradoxy: Coming to Grips with the Contradictions of Jesus [Paperback]

By Tom Taylor (Author)
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Item Number 27411  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2006
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801065399  
EAN  9780801065392  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Description: Yield to conquer. Die to live. Be enslaved to be freed. Why did Jesus teach in apparent contradictions? If his message was so important, why did he communicate it so mysteriously? Tom Taylor unfolds some of the core mysteries of Jesus as he explores eight puzzling statements whose meanings ultimately reveal critical truths about life, faith, and relationships. In these pages you learn to see the world through Jesus' eyes. You learn how to embrace Paradoxy--a profound way of living that leads to both personal peace and peace with God

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More About Tom Taylor

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Whether tracking game, looking for a secluded fishing spot, or just wandering the countryside, Tom Taylor spends a great deal of time on Texas' trails. A native raised in West Texas, he now resides in San Antonio.

Tom Taylor currently resides in Ponce Inlet, in the state of Florida.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Informative but a little boring  Jun 23, 2007
Written by an ex-lawyer and originally written as a textbook, this informative and thorough discussion of the teachings of Jesus comes across as a little dry and dusty. I found the content good but the writing was not compelling. As such, when reading the book across several sessions, I did not rush back to pick the book up but needed to push through to get it finished.

The content however, is great. Taylor looks at a number of Jesus' teachings and contrasts the values of the Kingdom of God with the values of the world. He shows clearly that to follow Jesus means living in ways antithetical to the culture in which we live through living out these paradoxes:

Labour to Rest
Walk By Faith, Not by Sight (When Seeing isn't Believing)
Give to Receive
Be Enslaved to be Free
Find Fool's Wisdom
Yield to Conquer
Serve to Reign
Die to Live

It's important stuff and a real challenge to our tendency to manipulate our theology in such a way that it fits how we want to live. We need the challenge to not be pulled under by the tide of materialism and consumerism that threatens to engulf us daily in the West. And it is a great antidote to the Bless Me, Bless Me prosperity theology that is so rampant these days. I just wish it had been easier for me to read... :)

This book was released at the same time as a few other on a similar topic - e.g. The Backward Life by Jarrod Jones which I have bought but am yet to read.
Lukewarm  Nov 24, 2006
I liked certain parts of this book very much.

I was bored by others. I was expecting sharp, insightful, refreshing wisdom and got a lot of characterizations I had heard before. Overall, it was a decent book...just not what I had hoped for (that's my problem, not the author's).

However, the pearls of wisdom Mr. Taylor shared were precious indeed. Here are a few excepts:

"Today, gurus and hucksters fill our airwaves hawking CD's, seminars, and autographed pictures of Jesus claiming that they will bring immediate personal peace in five easy steps and three easy payments. For those who know the pain and struggle of an authentic search for peace, such claims are painful even to hear." Pp. 11-12
A Good Antidote to Me-First Christianity  Nov 13, 2006
Religion should provide doctrines and teachings that do not change with the times. Unfortunately, in early 21st century America, slick televangelists have warped the selfless message of Christ. Such leaders have told us that God wants us to become rich and wealthy. They wish to dispel anything that is negative or contradictory in the Bible. By telling parishioners what they want to hear, these leaders have essentially become pop psychologists rather then spiritual leaders.

Taylor, in this short book, presents a good response to this vapid Christian self-esteem movement. The author asks very basic, but nevertheless important questions, like what if Jesus really meant that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle then a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. While Taylor does not provide concrete answers to this, he does correctly assess however that materialism (even if it is disguised by a supposedly Christian message) leads to an incomplete existence.

Although it is impossible to answer such questions as these, Taylor does his best to present coherent answers. Taylor and I would tend to agree that the answer to spiritual fulfillment is not rampant materialism and the 'me' culture that we tend to emphasize. The answer, Taylor argues, is found in the seemingly contradictory statements that Christ made in the gospels. A good example is "whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will save it." Thus, if we love our life so much that we indulge in all kinds of meaningless behavior, we will eventually lose it and find life itself meaningless. What has one gained by an I pod, Satellite Radio, every possible movie channel and a fine collection of suits? The answer is not spiritual fulfillment, but rather massive credit card debt. Taylor presents a great counter-argument to this me-first Christianity, and should be read by anyone who takes their faith seriously.
A fine commentary on the seemingly contradictory statements of Jesus   Sep 25, 2006
Some books you read and other books read you. Nothing can top the Bible for reflecting our spiritual condition, but Paradoxy by Tom Taylor is such a fine commentary on the seemingly contradictory statements of Jesus that you can't help but see yourself. Since we all fall short in many ways, the image of ourselves is not always pleasant.

As Oswald Chambers once said, when we finally "hear" from God it's accompanied by a mixture of joy and guilt. There is joy in seeing the truth, but sorrow and regret for having been so slow to realize it. That's what one can experience when someone like Taylor makes the sayings of Jesus so clear. That's not to say that this book is depressing. It has the potential to liberate.

Welcome to the upside down world of Jesus where slavery is freedom, giving brings satisfaction and weakness is strength. Through his careful analysis of Jesus' use of paradox, Taylor gets at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. It's dying to live. It's keeping your eye on the invisible. It's discipleship 101 in a nutshell.

Taylor consistently gets beneath the surface of what Jesus said to arrive at what it really means. He takes a fresh but accurate look at the Scriptures.

He lays to rest the idea of giving with the aim of getting something in return. In his excellent treatment of the subject, he writes, "Jesus' point is simply this: lending and expecting nothing in return is called giving! That means we're not in it for the payoff."

Poignant stories, quotations, personal examples and an examination of Scripture serve to show that Taylor knows what he is talking about. Though published by Baker--known for academic works--Taylor breaks the bread of life in such that anyone can be nourished. The writing is terrific; the truths are life-changing.

This might be especially helpful to those who struggle. It's no magic cure, but it gets at the essence of what it means to be a Christian in a world governed by opposing values.
A Future Christian Classic . . .   Jul 23, 2006
In this refreshing and much-needed book, Tom Taylor acts as a 21st Century translator for Jesus and the paradoxes that he taught. Taylor offers, not trite, canned, or boilerplate platitudes, but thoughtful, sensible, and calming insights into these thorny truths that otherwise might seem to contradict reality. In tackling them, most thankfully, Taylor does not propose simple solutions to life's untidy circumstances. Instead, he points us toward Jesus' radical, yet merciful, counterintuitive teachings about a well-lived life.

In a writing style equally useful to scholars yet accessible to laypeople, Taylor combines the intellectuality of a Christian theologian with the moving, hilarious, human storytelling accessibility of writers like Anne Lamott. He lays bare messiness of life that Jesus seemed to know we'd all encounter. More reassuringly, Taylor demonstrates how the elusive keys to Jesus' promises for deeper, better life, are found in the very paradoxes that often (but need not) confound and derail our sojourns toward and with God.

In an age where shallow get-rich-quick and you-mustn't manuals clutter "Christian Living" and "Inspiration" shelves of book marts everywhere, Taylor manages to lead us on a funny, cerebral, poignant, and often tender paradigm-shifting journey through his experiences, timeless literature, sound history, and, of course, the scriptures - a journey on which we learn to see life through Jesus' eyes. The utterly enjoyable, life-giving utility of this book will long outlive the paper on which it is printed. READ THIS BOOK. Then give it to someone else who needs it.

M.K. Irwin - College Station, TX

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