It’s been a long road, but it is finally here. Tomorrow, May 20th, 10:10: Life to the Fullest releases. I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been quite a journey, and I’m so grateful that it finally becomes real this week.
I’ve talked a lot about the joys and tensions I’ve felt with the promotional side of authorship (see here, here, here, and here for that), so I won’t spend any more time on that. Instead, I am going to post each day this week with a summary of a different facet of the book.
First off – why the name “10:10?” What does that represent?
One of the most quoted and beloved verses in the while Bible is John 10:10 (though most prefer the second half of the verse to the first!): “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
This has got to be one of the most compelling things said anywhere in the Bible: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” It’s no wonder that so many claim it as a life verse.
Though I have loved this verse since I was a child, I have long felt a sense of discomfort with it as well. What I came to notice early on was that many of the same people who claim this as a life verse also carried a sadness with them about the actual experience of its promise. I’ve been around a lot of the streams of Christian experience over the course of my life (fundamentalist, charismatic, liberation theology, and seeker oriented are a few of them), and I’ve found this to be true across the board.
And I am not just describing those who struggle with faith when I say that, or those who feel like they are on the outside looking in. I actually would love to write a companion book to 10:10 for folks who are asking those types of questions, but what I am describing here is different. I‘m talking about people who love God, have given their lives over to Jesus, and who genuinely want to know God fully and to experience life to its fullest.
This creates quite the dilemma. What do we do when we are an authentic Christ follower who believes in the promise of fullness of life, yet feel it is always just beyond our reach? What are we to do when we believe in the beauty and presence of God but struggle to translate that belief into actual experience? Where do we turn when we feel trapped between our longing and our reality? How do we discover both a vision and a path for following Jesus into that fullness of life?
It is these types of questions that led to the title of the book 10:10.
There are a couple of big hopes I have for the book: First, I want to encourage people to lean into the ache that they often feel about this gap. I fear that we sometimes view the realization that something’s missing, and the corresponding hunger, as signs that something is wrong. But often it is the opposite. It is a sign of spiritual hunger, and hunger is an irreplaceable element in this journey! We need to embrace that hunger and follow the thread.
The other hope I have for this book is to lay out a vision of what the 10:10 life actually looks like according to the Bible. Even as I write these words, I realize how audacious that sounds. There have been great theologians writing about the Bible for two centuries now – how would I dare to say this will be the book that accurately and adequately describes abundant life in Christ?
All I can authoritatively speak to is my own experience, and I can honestly say that this is the book that I personally have long been on the search for. When we planted River City Community Church, we wanted to base everything we did off of a theologically rich understanding of the Bible. We wanted to proclaim a holistic view of life in Christ, and inspire people to respond to the call of Christ on their lives.
As we attempted to proclaim that holistic view of Christ, we found the only way we could effectively do it was by doing a lot of copy-and-pasting. Since no one author, preacher, theologian, or even tradition could quite provide what we were looking for, we had to copy and paste from a wide variety of influences until we found the comprehensive picture that we were looking for.
Looking back, I now realize that this was one of the most exciting aspects of our church plant. We drew from such a broad list of a diverse sources, and then engaged in such wonderful conversations around these various perspectives. I feel like I am a tremendously blessed and privileged person as a result. I (and we) didn’t deserve to have such an invested group of diverse mentors, and I could never have hoped to have such an amazing, smart, and Godly group of men and women to process it with in community.
10:10 is therefore a reflection of my personal journey into the topic of wholeness in Christ. It reflects the incredible perspectives I’ve been able to be exposed to. It is a summary of some of the most important insights I’ve learned along the way. It is my best attempt at describing what Jesus was talking about in John 10:10 (and elsewhere) when he invited us into the abundant life.
That is some of what 10:10 represents for me. That is some of what I hope for as it now released into the world.