About You by Dick Staub

Fully Human, Fully Alive“The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive” ~ St. Irenaeus

Full of anectodes, stories and life-reflections, Mr. Staub sets out to answer three questions in this “About You,” published by Jossey-Bass:

1) What can humans do to please God? 2) What was the mission of Jesus? 3) What does fully human look like?  All of these are addressed in inter-related ways.

In an attempt to answer what a “full human” looks like, he takes the beginning of the book and catalogs the theological conditions that have left humankind not “fully human” and the evidential experiences of day to day living.  To be honest, I felt like he actually spent too much time talking about what was not “fully human” instead of talking about what was which is where the next 2 questions come into play.

This is where I think the book has import.  As I was perusing the web, looking for some information on the author himself, I read one review that said that this was a primer for Christian living.  And I think it’s true.  The Rookmaker quote of “Jesus didn’t come to make us Christian; Jesus came to make us fully human” and the rest of Mr. Staub’s writing does a great job in informing the current or new believer that a life in Christ has nothing do to about religious constructs, rules or piety, that in order to be in tune with God, one must operate as a Christian.  On page 138, I was struck by a handful of questions (this was the only part of the book that I noted for myself):

“the question we should ask is not “Are you a Christian?”/..[but] “Are you becoming more fully human?”

“Not, “Are you going to heaven when you die?” Instead, “are you living a fully human life now?”

and (my favorite)

“How successful are you at avoiding the world” but “How effective are you as a loving, transforming presence in the world?”

These are spectacular questions for the new and recurring Christian!  So often, the Christian experience is limited or impaired by tenets of orthopraxy that individuals aspire to, are not able to grasp, and end up being frustrated by in the long run.

One last thing, I think what I would have liked more out of this book was about that last question: “how effective are you as a loving, transforming presence in the world?” I think I would have just liked to hear more about the external, immediate effects of becoming fully alive not just the internal affects that have external effects.

Despite that, you can tell that Mr. Staub has a passion for living which made this book enjoyable to read.  Thanks for writing this, Dick.

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