Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Which Jesus do you follow?

I just read Daniel Darling’s The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is (Baker Books, 2015) and have to say that I like the original Jesus better than anything I could ever dream up.
Darling takes a sometime tongue -in-cheek approach to the various Jesus figures that people have created for themselves over time, often going back decades and centuries,  and comparing those creations to Jesus the Christ as discovered in Scripture.  Meet Guru Jesus, Dr Phil Jesus, along with Braveheart, REdletter, BFF and one of my favorites, Legalist Jesus (they forgot to tell me in Seminary that one of my pastoral duties would be to hand out a list of music and movie ratings that 'good Christians' would enjoy.  And of course we understand that 'legalist' is the term that Christians so freely apply to anyone who doesn't agree with you.
I actually liked this book quite a bit, and would have liked it more if I didn't know way too many people who expect me as a pastor to preach from the pulpit the Jesus that they have created for themselves (and expect others to embrace).  Some of the chapters seemed to be the 'lite version' of what he wanted to or should have said about the Jesus of the Gospels.  This is also an idea which has been used before, although with a different approach and different examples. 
As a disclaimer, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. There was no requirement to write a positive review, only that it be my own thoughts.


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