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A review of
Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of Saint Patrick
Foreword by Jean Vanier.
Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2015
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Reviewed by D.L. Mayfield
*** Watch the trailer video for this book!
We admitted we were powerless—that our lives had become unmanageable.
–Alcohol Anonymous, step one
St. Patrick at first does not seem the poster child for addiction—what we commonly think of as wild and wicked behavior—at least, not how Jamie Arpin-Ricci introduces him. In his new book Vulnerable Faith: following in the way of St. Patrick, Arpin-Ricci introduces a Patrick who looks a lot more like me and everyone I grew up with: young, privileged, self-assured and secure in the knowledge that life will work out well for him in the end. But the genius of this small book on intentional Christian living and discipleship is that it focuses so much on how it is precisely those of us who so often distance ourselves from the Other—the poor, the addict, the unspeakably lost—who are caught in the throes of powerlessness. We are the ones scrounging up reputations and possessions, desperate to outrun both our fear of death and the chaos that we know lurks within. And, just like those who follow the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous know, the first step in recovering is admitting that our lives have become unmanageable—especially spiritually.