Book review: Embracing Obscurity

by Anonymous


This book has an interesting theme. Being Jesus-like means not merely being humble, which is a foundational point of all major religions, but going to the next level: embracing obscurity. The cute gimmick (which the author insists is not a gimmick, but is cute nonetheless) is that the book is written anonymously.

We crave recognition to overcome the natural obscurity of sharing our world with billions. Why? Why does it seem natural, human, to want to rise above the billions, to be someone important? This craving conflicts with our spiritual well-being. Says the author, “I am astounded by Jesus’ complete lack of concern over His reputation.”

By way of warning, a chart is presented showing Christ’s disposition alongside Satan’s. To summarize the entire chart for you: Jesus lives a life of humility followed by honor, while Satan lives a life of pride followed by humiliation. And unless we stop imitating our enemy, we can be absolutely certain that we will also reap the same end: ultimate (perhaps even eternal) humiliation.

As the last paragraph shows, this book is afterlife-oriented, so you can guess that it wasn’t a perfect fit for my brand of Christianity. “Life is not about comfort, but about doing hard things now”—(wait for it, that’s only half of the quote)—“so that we can reap rewards in the life to come.” Yeah, not my brand. Yet there are some very helpful, very uplifting teachings herein. Mr. Anonymous points out that “living for an audience of One is at the heart of embracing obscurity,” and that is a lesson we could all learn…whatever our picture of that One.

This book will be especially appreciated by conservative Christians in need of hope-filled encouragement to continue being Jesus-like.

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