Number of pages: 196
Patrick of Ireland lived a Christian life beyond the ordinary – that’s why we call him a saint. But Jamie Arpin-Ricci contends that, although St. Patrick may have been extraordinary, the sort of life he lived is available to everyone – if we only desire and accept it. This book is Arpin-Ricci’s exploration of what that sort of radical way of living might look like.
Drawing from Scripture, church history, and the author’s own ministry experiences among those who live on the margins, Vulnerable Faith bridges the often enormous gap between the conceptual ideal of faithfulness we talk about in church and a genuine, practical, radical obedience to Jesus.
Arpin-Ricci (The Cost of Community) combines the story of St. Patrick with Alcoholics Anonymous’s 12-step program to illustrate what a life beyond pretense looks like. Humans, Arpin-Ricci says, normally live in fear not only of death but also of rejection and loss of control. It’s only as people have the courage to embrace vulnerability, as Patrick did on a path that inadvertently followed the trajectory of the 12 steps, that they can live as whole people. The idea of a 12-step/St. Patrick mash-up is intriguing, but the book soars highest when Arpin-Ricci writes about his true subject: the radical Jesus that animates both Patrick and AA. This Jesus transforms the world and emerges in community as people face fears and reach out to others. Social justice permeates Arpin-Ricci’s message: focus not on perfecting the self, but on seeking the other as Christ. For anyone yearning to find a more full-bodied Jesus than the version that only saves individuals from hell, this is a worthwhile read.
"This book is an invitation to radical faithfulness found in willing vulnerability. Jamie Arpin- Ricci guides readers through a process of transformation, which exposes our pretense and promises new life through and beyond the cross of Christ."
—Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking