WINNER of the 2022 American Book Fest's Best Book award: Religion, Christianity
Throughout Holy Week, two competing approaches to peacemaking collide. What if we’ve embraced the wrong one?
At the start of Holy Week, tears streamed down Jesus’ face as he cried out, “If only you knew the things that make for peace." From that moment, until a week later when he triumphantly declared, “Peace be with you,” Jesus spent each day confronting injustice, calling out oppressors and contending for peace.
But what if—despite all our familiarity with the events of Holy Week—we still don’t know how Jesus makes peace? And what if—despite clinging to the cross of Christ for our salvation—we’ve actually embraced a different approach to peacemaking? One that justifies killing enemies. One whose methods include nailing criminals to crosses.
We desperately need to recover the radical vision of peacemaking that Jesus embodied throughout Holy Week. And we urgently need to be trained in his way of making peace. So, come. Let’s journey together day-by-day through Jesus’ final week and discover anew why he is called the Prince of Peace.
Jason Porterfield has made his home in places abandoned by society, from Canada’s poorest neighborhood to the slums of Indonesia. His passion is to cultivate God’s shalom wherever it is painfully absent and to help churches embrace their peacemaking vocation.
In 2007, Jason joined Servants (servantsasia.org), an international network of Christian communities living and ministering among the urban poor. He was a founding member of the Servants team in Vancouver, started a new team in Indonesia, and directed operations in North America through 2015. Jason holds a master in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and now lives in his riskiest location yet: next door to his in-laws.
“In a world where violence is spiraling out of control, this book is an urgent call to rediscover Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Only as peacemakers can Christians truly be the salt and light that God intended. Dive deep into this compelling story of a week in the life of Christ and you will be changed, for good.”
~—CRAIG GREENFIELD, founder of Alongsiders International and author of Subversive Jesus
“From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, what does Holy Week have to do with peacemaking? I’d never thought about that before reading Fight Like Jesus, but now I’m convinced the two are bound together as Jesus wages peace each day and teaches his followers to do the same. Read this book for new insight on Holy Week and on Jesus as peacemaker. Read this book to be inspired and equipped for practical peacemaking today.”
~—APRIL YAMASAKI, pastor and author of Four Gifts and Sacred Pauses
“A friend who lived through the Troubles in Northern Ireland told me that the anger he sees in the American Christian community rivals the animosity that existed in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. Fight Like Jesus is a timely call for peacemaking in a period of escalating violence. In a season of rising homicides, mass shootings, gun violence, vigilante attacks, and deep-seated hatred, we need now, more than ever, this call for Christians to embrace our heritage as forgers of peace in a world of division. Fight Like Jesus will equip us all for the difficult work of peacemaking and reconciliation that lays before us.”
~—SCOTT BESSENECKER, national director of global engagement and justice for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
“For those who think ‘peace’ might be mild or meek, flimsy or weak, author Jason Porterfield unpacks Jesus’ embrace of a radical peace. Built on a faithful biblical exposition, this book inspires and equips today’s courageous peacemakers to fight like Jesus. Will you put down your hammer and join him?”
~—MARGOT STARBUCK, author of Small Things with Great Love
“In Fight Like Jesus, author Jason Porterfield takes the reader through the final week of Jesus’ life and provides a powerful vision of peacemaking by situating it within his personal call to build a more just world. This relatable calling gives the book deep wisdom and thick theology in a world where many are searching for substantive discipleship. Through practical lessons for the everyday peacemaker, this book is equal parts commentary, guide, and communal resource suitable for congregations and classrooms alike. Fight Like Jesus will refresh one’s understanding of both peacemaking and conventional readings of Holy Week.”
~—ROSE LEE-NORMAN, formation pastor at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and adjunct professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University
“Rather than requiring political manipulation or military conquest, the decisive peace that Jesus waged required self-sacrifice. In Fight Like Jesus, author Jason Porterfield takes us on an undomesticated, and therefore more realistic, journey through Holy Week that equips us to walk the way of the cross in ways that make for peace. I commend this book with hope!”
~—JER SWIGART, cofounding director of the Global Immersion Project and coauthor of Mending the Divides
“Written as a compelling narrative of Jesus’ final week of life and ministry, Jason weaves historical context and accessible commentary in building a tangible set of practices for those who want to take peacemaking seriously. Many describe Jesus as a peacemaker, but few do the thoughtful work of unpacking what that meant and how it informs the vocation of the church. This is a great book for any churches who desire to take a deep dive into the implications and invitation of Holy Week as an embodied extension of the peace that Jesus waged 2000 years ago.”
~—JON HUCKINS, cofounder of the Global Immersion Project and coauthor of Mending the Divides