I am not sure how long ago his name was mentioned to me, but I have loved his writing since learning of him. Jonathan Martin is a pastor, blogger & now book author that has caused me to think about things that I have known for a long time & haven’t thought about in forever. I recently had the joy & privilege to read Prototype. The book is written in a style that made me feel like the man was sitting across a booth from me, sharing coffee & his stories with me. It is written in an easy to read but deep in meaning style. Yet it is never so deep that it is presented in a manner that is difficult to grasp. I love that about Jonathan. As brilliant a mind as he has, he desires to share both in simplicity & humility.
When he tells the story of the boy on the bicycle or the girl on the trampoline or the many in his congregation that have found their identity, it is believable. It causes you to search inside yourself for that young child that once believed the very same. He stirs a faith inside of your soul that births desire for your own God-given identity to be recaptured. Jonathan takes well known stories & transforms them so as to reveal a new focus. In telling the story of the demoniac, he does not focus on his chains or that he cut himself with stones or that he was always yelling or that he was so strong, he had to be subdued. Instead he causes you to see a person that experiences a transformation that resulted in sanity & peace & purpose. He causes you to believe that can be true of any of us that are wounded.
Some of my favorite thoughts from the book?
- “..what set Jesus apart was the deep understanding and trust He had that He was loved by God the Father.”
- Henri Nouwen, “One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.”
- “The wilderness is the place where our identity is solidified.”
- “All the good stuff happens in obscurity.”
- “The message embedded in our scars, the code encrypted implicitly beneath ruptured skin or emotions, is not just about our pain, but about God’s faithfulness.”
- “Jesus’ path to kingship comes wrapped in a very strange strategy indeed: He is the King of kings largely because he lets himself get beat up. He is victorious not despite His scars, but because of them.”
- “Thomas wasn’t a cynic, he was a hopeful doubter; he’d believe if he could.” The entire section on Thomas is life-changing!
- “We come to the [Communion] table not because we are holy, but because we are in need of His holiness. We come to the table not because we are strong, but because we are weak and in need of His strength.” The chapter on the sacraments is powerful! You will never look at the bread & the wine quite in the same manner.
- “He will change the world through His sons and daughters. If you don’t know who you are, if you don’t know your true identity, you won’t touch others on His behalf.”
Yes, I did receive this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review which I have given. But to be honest, I signed up for the review because I didn’t want to wait for the book to be released to be able to read it. This book did not disappoint me & I doubt that it will disappoint you either. It is a book that speaks into the heart. It has a heart felt message. May you get the book, read it & absorb the message deep into the marrow of your soul. For as Jonathan Martin states in closing, “He wants to make our wounds a resource for the healing of others. Do you have any idea what’s at stake in your understanding who you really are?” (page 205).
Check out this Author Q & A (http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/downloads/press_kits/PrototypeQ&A.pdf) .
You may also read the Chapter One excerpt (http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/FirstChapters/978-1-4143-7363-8.pdf).