Dec 102013

David Platt.

We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.

Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don’t we need him?

Page: 31

Sometimes sacred cows need sacrificing. That picture of Jesus at the door, knocking? Ever notice there is no door knob?

My friend, Paul Davis, calls this the “Pathetic Jesus,” pleading for us to please let him in. Platt is correct that the contemporary church has a very poor, puny, and pathetic understanding of the Jesus of the Bible.

Book Posts

  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream – David Platt
  • Radical Promise: Consequences of “Really” Believing and “Really” Obeying
  • Being Radical in a Rad World
  • Gospel of Self-Sufficiency
  • Risking All for a Biblical Gospel
  • Radical Gospel of Guilt
  • Poor, Puny, Pathetic Jesus?
  • God’s Gift of Grace: New Heart, New Desires, New Longings

  • Dec 062013

    David Platt.

    You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him.

    Page: 9

    Platt opens the book promising a clear cut picture of what it means to really follow Jesus, an honest look at “the Jesus of the Bible,” and the consequences. His statement presupposes that we don’t know this Jesus, don’t follow him, and don’t obey him but that this book will straighten out the American church if it will just follow his prescription.

    If I seem to get a little defensive as I read this book, can I point my finger and say, “He started it”?

    Book Posts

  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream – David Platt
  • Radical Promise: Consequences of “Really” Believing and “Really” Obeying
  • Being Radical in a Rad World
  • Gospel of Self-Sufficiency
  • Risking All for a Biblical Gospel
  • Radical Gospel of Guilt
  • Poor, Puny, Pathetic Jesus?
  • God’s Gift of Grace: New Heart, New Desires, New Longings

  • Aug 192013

    Reza Aslan.
    Google Books

    I saw this book available for review from NetGalley. I always have a hard time reading “Historical Jesus” books, not because they seek to deny much of what I beleive but because they always seem so presumptuous and condescending, explaining why everything we ‘know’ is wrong while, themselves, holding on the to the story arc to keep just enough to justify the reason for a book. Claiming that we, in the 21st century, are so much smarter than people back then and not near as gullible just seems like a weak premise an academic discipline.

    Will be interesting to see how this author handles it.

    Book Info

    Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
    by Reza Aslan
    Publisher: Random House
    Published: 07/16/2013
    ISBN-10: 140006922X
    ISBN-13: 978-1400069224
    Started: 08/19/2013
    Source: NetGalley
    Reason: Has been a while since I have read a book on the "Historical Jesus", ie everything we know about the Jesus we don't know.
    Format: e-book

    Publisher Synopsis


    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

    Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.

    Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.

    Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.

    Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.

    Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.

    Author Info

    Dr. Reza Aslan's bachelor's degree is in religious studies, with an emphasis on scripture and traditions (which at Santa Clara University means the New Testament). His minor was in biblical Greek. He has a master of theological studies degree from Harvard University, in world religions, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the sociology of religions. UCSB's doctoral program is an interdisciplinary one that draws from religion, history, philosophy, and sociology, among other fields. Aslan's doctorate in the sociology of religions encompasses expertise in the history of religion. Reza also has a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.

    Dr. Aslan is currently professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, with a joint appointment in the department of religion, and he teaches in both disciplines. He was previously Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Drew University, where he taught from 2012 to 2013, and assistant visiting professor of religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught from 2000 to 2003. He has written three books on religion.

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    Jul 032013

    Coffee with Calvin.
    Donald McKim.

    We have comfort in election because our salvation is secure in God’s gracious mercy. Our response to God’s call—to believe in Christ—is the outward expression of the election we see mirrored in Christ. Election has a human face, the face of Jesus Christ.

    Page: 62

    Jun 202013

    Pilgrim Theology.
    Michael S. Horton.

    After the Pope’s recent remarks about salvation this quote was a nice counterpoint. Jesus is not our example. We cannot imitate Him because no one is good except God.

    Jesus Christ is not just a prototype, example, or even the first Christian. He did more than open up a path that we can follow into the consummation. Rather, he is the only victor over sin and death, the only human being who secured the beginning of the new creation. We share in it because we are united to him, not because we cooperate in a process of grace-empowered deification. We will be everything he is in his humanity because he has done everything for us in our humanity.

    Page: 337-338