I was given a copy of Craig Gross’ new book, Jesus Loves You: This I Know. Craig is the founder of xxxchurch.com and the author of the book The Gutter. The book has the look and feel of a Rob Bell book, but the title takes anyone who grew up in the Church down memory-lane (just try and read it without that song getting in your head).
The overwhelming strength of the book is the perspective of stories that it offers. While it doesn’t unveil any absurdly deep theological ideas, it offers unique stories that drive home the message. The book is co-written by Jason Harper, a pastor who decided to get a one day a week job doing something that nobody liked: cable company collections in order to see if he could live out his faith just as well as he could surrounded by Christians.
Some of my favorite stories from the book included Craig’s time with Porn King Ron Jeremy (which involved a WWE wrestling event between them and a dinner at Hooters). I also loved the example of the Red Frog Crew in Australia that makes a focus of serving people lost in the gluttony week of Schoolies.
Here are a few of the quotes that stood out to me:
“I’ve asked those who doubt Jesus where their issue lands, and so many times it’s not with Him at all. It has been with rules that have replaced relationship. The issue has been interpretation of Scripture, not the investigation of a Savior.”
“That is what Jesus does. He brings purpose out of pain. He brings life through death.”
“Society demands justice; Jesus delivered mercy. People want to get; Jesus gave. People want to forget; Jesus remembered. Skeptics demand an explanation; Jesus died to deliver the definition.”
“[Ron Jeremy] said that I [Craig], as a pastor, would be more embraced by the porn industry than he would be at a church.”