Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Gospel According to Jesus

Had some great reading to take to the beach recently...The Grace of God I just reviewed, and The Gospel According to Jesus by Chris Seay.  This book took a little bit longer to get through as it was less storytelling and more thoughtful examination.  This pastor/writer often takes on the project of finding truth in less obvious places, as in his previous works "The Gospel According to Lost" and "The Gospel According to Tony Soprano", so it would seem that finding Jesus' Gospel would be a great deal easier.  The idea for this work actually came from another project he worked on, "The Voice",  a new Bible translation.  When the writers came to translating the word "righteousness", they found that the Church had a misunderstanding of the word, having to do more with piety and morality than with how they defined it: "God's restorative justice".  It took me a while to wrap my brain around that definition, and thoughtful reflection is not a strength for me, but it was a struggle worth having.  There is dialogue at the end of each chapter with people like Mark Batterson, Dan Kimball and Gabe Lyons, which help flesh out some of the ideas. "God restores us so that we might become agents of restoration", says Alan Hirsch.  It's all about living out the Gospel...not just playing Church, but being the Church.  While I think the primary audience for this book will be those who consider themselves avid students of the Bible, more casual readers may get lost.  If you are like me and can become frustrated with prolonged theological discussion, then this book will be a challenge.  But in the end, I enjoyed the challenge, and I think my understanding of the Gospel according to Jesus has been enriched as a result.

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