Selling Water by the River

December 01, 2012

I recently read the newest book by Shane Hipps, a Mennonite pastor who most recently served at Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan with Rob Bell (before both left to pursue other endeavors). The book is titled Selling Water by the River: A Book about the Life Jesus Promised and the Religion That Gets in the Way. It is a great read that I recommend. Hipps deals with some important theological issues as he urges us to live a Christ-like life that brings people close to God, instead of just creating burdensome and unhelpful hoops for people to jump through in order to be part of a church. It is a deceptively easy read; that is not to say the book is deceptive, but that although it feels like an easy text to read, he is communicating some powerfully deep ideas. With the use of metaphors and parables--along with explanations--Hipps offers thought-provoking ways of considering God. I had heard him playing with several of these concepts in sermons I listened to online--which I recognize is a somewhat ironic medium to listen to his sermons considering his fantastic book Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith (which was even more convicting since I read it on Kindle--or did I read really read his message in that medium?!). I hope his latest book sparks conversations in Bible studies and Sunday School classes because he deals with important topics we need to think about and discuss.