When pastor David Beck went to Haiti with a ministry team he found himself deeply experiencing the power of being Christ's own hands and feet. Reflecting on what it means to be Christ to others, he writes: "We come to fulfill Jesus' words that we are the light of the world and are here to let our light shine so others will glorify God (Mt 5:14-16). God intends for his children to be luminous."
But how do we get there?
Through both personal and spiritual reflection, this book explores the formational practices of those who long to become the embodiment of Christ to the world around them--who long to be what Jesus declared them to be: the light of the world.
"This book is a remarkable achievement. Written with charm and simplicity, it provides a point of entry into the spiritual life that is refreshing and engaging. Beck draws deeply on the core of the Christian faith in the work of the Son and the Spirit in a way that is honest and salutary. His feet are firmly planted on the ground; his mind is saturated with the life and Spirit of Christ; and his heart radiates a realistic love. Through it all he draws us gently but firmly into a new world of grace and action."
"Rooted in the incarnation and our missionary God, Luminous offers both an inspiring vision of what living with Jesus and surrendering to his purposes truly looks like, as well as practical steps to carry it out. Surrender and shine!"
"Suggests the dangerously bright possibility that we can be tuned into and turned on by the same light that illuminates the whole universe with the love of God. We should pay attention to Beck, because he writes from lived knowledge of practicing the presence of God amidst the messy details of life."
"David Beck's book is luminous. He uses 'luminous' to indicate that Christians are called to reflect Jesus' shalom in and through our lives. I'm using 'luminous' to describe the content of his book, which is clear, glowing and lovely in every way. Beck incorporates Scriptures and stories to illustrate his points, and his creative and practical suggestions are easy to try. His book is a luminous invitation to go deeper into the life of faith, to love and serve Jesus more deeply so we can shine."
"Luminous is the kind of book that is a pleasure to recommend to others. David Beck writes with the head of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, giving us a book that is full of wisdom made extremely practical. This is a great guide for any who care about living their faith, not just talking about it."
"I find it hard to explain just how wonderful this book is. . . . Beck blends the personal and the public, the spiritual and the sexual, the devotional and the daily, loving God and loving others: by encountering the God who is Light, we become those who shine, who share that light, who helps others see in the darkness. . . This book is well worth your time, not just because it relays some vital information about the spiritual life, but also because it is a delight to read."
"Pastor Beck's premise is simple; and though many Christian writers have tackled it previously, his original insights and anecdotes keep the reading fresh. His writing is engaging, and the prayer exercises at the end of each chapter take practical application one step further than most books in the genre. It is an excellent text for anyone looking to revitalize a relationship with God in hopes of shining for his glory."
Introduction: Moving to the Center
1: Shining Like Stars
2: Purpose: Knowing Why We Are Here
3: Being Present with God
4: Being Present in Our Bodies
5: Being Present with One Another
6: The Power of Surrender
7: The Power of Humility
8: The Power of the Spirit
9: Peace: The Way that Transforms
Conclusion: High-Contrast Living
Appendix 1 See the Light—Questions for Reflection
Appendix 2 Key Biblical Passages and Creeds