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Wild Ones

By Michael Duncan
Urban Neighbours of Hope
RRP: $22
What is it to be real? Radical, enthusiastic, alive, living. These words describe the story in this small book from Michael Duncan.

Duncan, a lecturer at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, reminds me of some people I know (too few sadly and I wish I were one of them). Honestly raw, excitingly engaged and where it’s at. So define ‘it’. In Wild Ones ‘it’ is the capacity to belong to God with integrity and honesty not just ‘nicely’ and ‘securely’ and basically powerless.
You get the sense that Duncan has a knack of stripping down and yet entwining the best bits of charismatically, liberated and evangelical Christianity.

But wait. In our church politics, don’t we think these labels describe opposites? “Get Real” is the message, lose the label.

Duncan explores our quite natural “ooh that’s awful” response to a few Old Testament characters (like the lady Jael from the Book of Judges who kills Sisera the soldier, remembering “all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching”) with his own experiences of coming to faith, the difficulty of making life choices and working amongst the poorest of Asia.

Duncan challenges the world view we have of what’s motivating a number of these OT characters.

This is not a long academic treatise. It is a smallish collection of wild characters comparing contemporary life experience. Some people will say “um, that was different” and move on, others will be shaken to the core of their being with the realisation God does ask us to be real. I’d be interested to see which one you become.