Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshipping Christ and Start Following Jesus
Robin R. Meyers, HarperOne
There is no doubt that the world-wide Christian Church has an amazing and transforming message to share: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But, in a society that sorely needs something real to transform lives, much of the Church looks more like just another service provider, selling easy answers for individual salvation.
Meyers, congregational pastor and author, surveys the state of the Church and contemporary Christianity, both conservative and liberal, and doesn’t find much that points to the message of Jesus.
Instead, what Meyers has found is that the Church has overemphasised belief and individual piety over lives lived in reflection of Jesus. That is, we are so busy worshipping the Christ as a “supernatural deity on a rescue mission” that we forget what is means to follow Jesus.
Meyers’s vision is for the Church to get back to what Christianity looked like before “the fourth century, when a first-century spiritual insurgency was seduced into marrying its original oppressor”.
Particularly helpful is Meyers’ exploration of the developing theology in the New Testament scriptures from the earliest writings in Paul’s letters to the latest in John’s gospel.
Using Jesus’ parables as an example, Meyers notes that Mark, the earliest gospel, has an entire chapter of parables. Contrast this with John’s gospel, by which time Jesus has become the pre-existent Christ with not a parable to be found.
This well-written book would make a great resource for group study, although unfortunately there are no discussion questions included. It does assume some familiarity with contemporary biblical scholarship, however it does a good job of summarising existing scholarship and asking the question, “So what do we do now?”
I commend this book to anyone who really wants to be a follow of Jesus Christ. Do you have the courage?
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