Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: The Gospel According to Jesus

The Gospel According to Jesus

Chris Seay

Thomas Nelson

2010

Surprised, pleasantly, and challenged.  That’s how I’d describe my review of this book.  I’d read others from his circle of friends and been disappointed, to be honest.  I expected more of the same from Chris Seay.  I was wrong.  There is more focus on the things of God and more depth here than I’d seen elsewhere.  The author defines righteousness, the gospel, justification and even takes on the imago dei.  He’s not putting out some fluff here.  Surprised?  The emerging/emergent elements are coming of age.  And in the process rediscovering some truth that the mainline had sidelined.  My hope is that this continues to affect their lives.  It’s like watching the fervor of the boomers in the 60’s again.  Let’s see if the new generation can pull it off and not be defined as an “unrealized” (Tom Brokaw) generation.

Chris Seay opens his book with a quote from Gandhi who says basically that he likes Jesus but wonders about His followers.  Most of us have heard that quote and winced at it’s truth.  The author sets out to discover why that is so and what to do about it.  Yes, there’s some criticism of the church and how it has conducted itself particularly in the USA.  Seay attributes some of the problem to ignorance, willful or otherwise.  His closing chapter lists “The Ten Commandments of a Shalom Life” which point the way to a truly meaningful life.  He is careful to say that all must be brought to God through prayer.   

I found myself challenged by the content of this book.  His focus is much more toward engaging the world than forming a cozy club that hides from the world.  In doing so it can feel as if he is advocating for social justice alone, but please read him more carefully.  He does address more than that in this book.  Think about what he says.  Even if you don’t agree with all he has to say or what the interview responses at the end of each chapter say you will have to answer the why don’t I agree question.

I do recommend this book to you. 

This book was provided in exchange for this review by Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze.

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