Wide Open Spaces
Beyond Paint-By-Number Christianity
By Jim Palmer
(Thomas Nelson Publishers, Paperback, 9780849913990, 205pp.)
Publication Date: December 2007
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Jim Palmer's critically acclaimed Divine Nobodies was only half the story - the deconstruction and shedding of a religious mentality that hindered his knowing God. In his next book, Jim takes the reader along into the wide open spaces of exploring and experiencing God beyond religion. Jim writes, "It is no secret that God can be lost beneath the waving banner of religion. Divine Nobodies is my story of how this happened to me. Sometimes you have to disentangle God from religion, even Christ from Christianity, to find the truth. With the help of some unsuspecting nobodies, I uncovered a new starting line with God. As I've put one foot in front of another, I've experienced God in ways that are deeply transforming."
Each chapter revolves around a central question related to knowing God on fresh terms: Is God a belief system? Is the Bible a landing strip or launching pad? Can what we're feeling inside be God? Are we too religiously minded to be any earthly good?
Brian McLaren wrote, "I am tempted to say that Jim Palmer could well be the next Don Miller, but what they have in common, along with an honest spirituality and extraordinary skill as storytellers, is a unique voice."
The Library Reviews said of him, "Jim Palmer's casual, yet compelling writing style cuts through the religious rhetoric and gets to the real issues...readers will love this author His sense of humor is alternately mixed with shocking sentences and poignant moments. Laced throughout is a refreshing honesty that ties his ideas together with a ribbon of reality...each turn of the page strips away a little more of the contrived mystery of Christianity until the simplicity and sincerity of it stands in realistic splendor."
More and more people seek a deeper spirituality beyond status-quo religion. Others are left empty and weary from a shallow and narrow pop-Christianity. Palmer says that God's kingdom of love, peace, and freedom can be a present reality in any person's life. He proclaims that God is indeed in the process of birthing something deep and wide among unlikely people in unconventional ways, which is changing the world...one "nobody" at a time.