Book Review: Undiluted by Benjamin L. Corey

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What makes you a follower of Jesus? Belonging to a church? Saying you believe in Christ?

Benjamin kicks off with an analogy of dishing up watered-down rice as the prelude to his revelations of what it means to serve God as an undiluted Christ-follower.

Starting from a religious identity crisis, the journey of rediscovery unfolds over thirteen chapters through honest words in relating the struggles and adventures of the newly developing lifestyle.

As he shares the reality of applying the radical message to his own life, readers are also challenged to live out the ‘real Jesus’ to the world.

“The version of Jesus that so many of us live out is something that fits snugly in our lives… As a result, many of us have grown discontent with the faith that have been passed down to us…we are trapped in a religion that seems to offer us far less than what we imagined Jesus could be, ” he writes.

Dispelling the comfortable Christian bubble, he points out that the tension of uncertainty in our own lives as surrendered in God-dependent faith sustains healthy intimacy and trust in a relationship between the Creator and humans.

Addressing themes such as community, loyalty and forgiveness, the book finally builds up to declare the identity of an undiluted Jesus-follower.

In “Undiluted Difficulty”, Benjamin draws on the painfully beautiful adoption of two Peruvian girls per illustration of radical love and justice. The element of self-sacrifice is evident in the portrayal of the Father’s heart.

Previously caught up in the doctrines and practices of different Christian denominations, he now declares his identity as “simply a Jesus follower”.

Religion is exposed as an obstacle, rather than a pathway to salvation. Pointing to 2 Corinthians 5:17, the life of a Jesus follower is laid out as “more amazing and relevant” with a irreversible choice at stake.

“As we forsake this old way of living – one that simply doesn’t work – we are finally able to place our primary loyalty to a radical new lifestyle that actually does work and leads to the purest form of freedom,” Benjamin states in his final chapter.

Undiluted not only highlights the disparities between our ideas of living a life of faith and the radical message of Jesus. It points the reader to the Saviour who made a new way possible, and prepares those who are ready to take the step for the reorientation towards a life-changing walk with Him.

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