People are not good or bad; they are simply broken, and God has either restored them to shalom or is seeking to restore them to shalom. Imagine seeing people as “broken shalom” or “shalom,” rather than good or bad. If you see them in the midst of broken shalom, it does not allow you to look down on them; instead, it calls you to join God in his redemptive work in their lives. What a beautiful privilege. — pg. 148
When I got my hands on Chris Seay’s The Gospel According to Jesus, I anticipated reading another book where an author attempts to write something “new” about God and the Gospel when in reality they end up simply preaching sermons I’ve heard many times on Sundays–nothing new under the sun.
The Gospel According to Jesus may not rewrite Scripture, but Seay certainly makes a good attempt to raise issues of interpretation that have run rampant for years, blurring the Gospel for those receiving its teaching.
The opening quote above is a great example of this whereby Seay acknowledges what in the end becomes a matter of diction and connotation, a simple concept, but a concept that has the power to alter how generations of Christ followers have viewed themselves, non-believers, and the role of Christians here on earth.
The opening chapter honestly did not capture my attention; I struggled to get through it. But the remaining chapters present the reader with Biblical concepts, challenging the way I have been taught to believe for years.
I often judge how good books and even sermons are by how easily I can summarize the topic at hand in my head in a few sentences. I’m not sure I can do that with The Gospel According to Jesus, but that could be due to how long it took me to read the book. Either way, the concepts Seay presents the book are worthy of the time it takes to read this 200+ page book.
Like every good preacher, the last chapter reflects upon the subject at hand and attempts to give examples as to how the reader can practically apply the concepts discussed in every day life. The last chapter alone is a great read in and of itself. If you read nothing else, read the last chapter!
I will happily recommend The Gospel According to Jesus to friends. Actually, I’m pondering grabbing Seay’s other books having read this one.
[Please note, Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a free copy of this book for review. As my opinion of their books has no impact on continuing to receive these books, my opinions are not effected by this fact.]
Question: Are there things you have been taught to believe are true from the Bible or life in general that you don’t fully understand but have accepted wholeheartedly? Is it wrong to believe things you don’t understand completely? Join the discussion below!