Interview with Darryl Tippens (Part 4 – Conclusion)

Darryl Tippens is Provost of Pepperdine University and the author of Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life.    In this interview, Darryl has made some very interesting and thought-provoking observations about what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st century. His words have been encouraging. darryl_tippens.jpg

These concluding remarks are a reminder of the compelling nature of Jesus.

(Remember that by making a comment in this or any one of the other three posts, you become eligible to win a free copy of Pilgrim Heart. You can find part one here, part two here, and part three here.)

In the Introduction you challenge the church to believe Jesus call “…not just to believe what he taught, but to act like him” (p. 14). What is there about Jesus that you sense 21st century men and women might find attractive and even compelling?

Darryl Tippens: The fact is, Jesus stands very well on his own, without much help on our part, when he is simply received as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present him. Jesus doesn’t need to be “gussied up” or sanitized or modernized or edited or explained.

There is considerable respect for Jesus in the non-Christian world, to the degree that he is known. But his bickering, checkered followers are another matter. Too often we stand in the way, obstructing the view of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Not everyone will follow Jesus, of course; but when he is seen as the original Evangelists present him, it’s hard to treat his call or his claims trivially. We’ve got to do a better job of getting Jesus outside Sunday school literature, the sermon, the church, and the machinery of American politics (left and right), and back into the marketplace, the lecture hall, the workplace, and the home where he can stand on his own quite powerfully.

What men and women of the 21st century will find most attractive and compelling are people who incarnate Jesus, people who have “learned Jesus” or “learned Christ” (Ephesians 4:20). When people see the “way of Jesus” in ordinary people “in everyday life,” they will find it rather hard to ignore him. It’s happened this way in every century since AD 33. It will happen in the 21st century. Indeed it is happening now.


What has been your experience when you have seen people in the world actually exposed to the incarnate Jesus?

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8 thoughts on “Interview with Darryl Tippens (Part 4 – Conclusion)

    • Thanks Bob. This is such a real problem. Yet, I think Darryl is right. It is so important that men and women have a faith that is not only genuine and pious but is thoughtful and reflective. (I suspect this is why C. S. Lewis in the past, and N. T. Wright in the present have been so helpful to so many.)

      Thanks very much Bob.

  1. Bob – I almost commented on your previous post, because although I do think we are called to be intellectually honest and articulate about our faith, something about working towards having the “best intellectual minds” working on behalf of our faith just didn’t quite sit right with me. You’ve answered my question in this post. Jesus IS our faith, and as you say, stands on his own without any need for us to “market” or present him. We don’t need intellectuals who can be erudite *about* him – we need, as you have so beautifully stated, people who have actually “learned Christ” – such a world of difference!!

    A book I have been reading recently, which treats this same subject (learning Jesus) very insightfully, is “Re-Jesus” by M. Frost and A. Hirsch. When we learn to walk *in* him I suspect much of the burnout factor many of us battle with, will become a non-issue – is this the focus of the spiritual disciplines you talk about in your book?

    Thank you for this post – simple and profound!!

  2. Sorry all – just realised I had a very *dyslexic* moment, addressing my last post to Bob!! I meant to address it to Darryl/Jim!! Apologies for my faulty brain wiring!!

  3. Kerry,
    Thanks very much for your comment. Thanks for putting your original thoughts in light of the whole interview. Very good.

    I will have to look at “Re-Jesus.” Not familiar with it though I have read Hirsch before. Thanks so much Kerry.

  4. As a researcher of cross-cultural workers in the Muslim world and as someone with Muslim friends, it is a privilege to experience the attractiveness of Jesus Christ to so many around the world. When messengers embrace the absolute treasure of Jesus in their walk and talk, Muslims come to Jesus. Effective disciple-making or church planting does not begin with a method; it begins with a Person. While I have not read “Pilgrim Heart,” these interviews have stirred my interest. Thanks so much for an excellent series.

  5. @Don Allen
    Don, Thanks very much for your comment. I love your second sentence.

    When messengers embrace the absolute treasure of Jesus in their walk and talk, Muslims come to Jesus.

    Thanks very much for coming by and leaving this comment.