We've been taught the Bible says Jesus is both fully man and fully God, but struggle to wrap our minds around such a reality. Then we open the Bible and read of the wondrous acts and profound teachings of Jesus.
The result: we quickly forget the humanity part of Christ's life and see a dynamic savior.
In "The Jesus We Missed," published by Thomas Nelson, pastor and theologian Patrick Henry Reardon attempts to take us back into the earthly life of Christ for a deeper look at the humanity of Jesus. Just what does it mean that Jesus was fully human yet fully God, and how did that play out in reality as Christ walked this earth? All good points Reardon initially does a respectable job of delving into.
However, as the book progresses, it gradually slides from a focus on the humanity of Christ to being just another study of the life of Christ written by a scholar.
And the reader can certainly tell a scholar wrote this book.
"The Jesus We Missed" is written for readers with a reasonable Bible knowledge of their own so they can keep up with Reardon's more academic approach with the subject matter.
If you're looking to broaden your knowledge of the life of Christ, are intrigued about going deeper into the humanity of Christ, and can handle a more studious read, then you may want to check out this book. There will be plenty of content to challenge and sharpen you. If, however, you're looking for a more general study of the life of Christ that is an easy read, you'll want to pass on this title.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Am I missing something? Really? The title The Jesus We Missed seems to promise controversy, is there something we've really missed about Jesus all this 2000 years or so? Is it really going to be surprising? Going by the title I was hoping for something I could get my teeth into, something to stir me, something I could chew over. Sadly there is nothing really challenging or surprising about this book.
So once I get past the fact that the title is somewhat miss-leading, the book itself is not that bad. Reardon has effectively gone through the gospels and picked up the biographical details of Jesus, compiled them and filled in the various gaps. He admits that there is nothing new in the book and that's exactly how it feels. Any half-way decent study of the gospels would yield equally satisfying results.
Still I come back to the fact that this a reasonably good book and certainly is worth your time if you want to make a study of Jesus and his humanity.
I received this book from booksneeze.com for an honest review.
In his book The Jesus We Missed, pastor and theologian Patrick Henry Reardon sets out to confront a growing trend of thought in the Church, a stigmatism that has affected the biblical vision of Christians for centuries: a misunderstanding of the reality of Christ's humanity.
For many believers, Jesus' true personhood is reduced to an abstract spiritual presence filling the cavities of our hearts, or existing far away in an unimaginable etherial heaven. He is either too close or too far for our mind's eye to picture. In the word's of Russell D. Moore, writer of the foreword to Reardon's book, "Many of us see Jesus either as the ghostly friend in the corner of our hearts, promising heaven and guiding us through difficulty, or we see him simply in terms of his sovereignty and power, in terms of his distance from us."
This is Reardon's polemic: to help Christians to re-envision Jesus as the man he was among men, and as the man he is still. Reardon wishes to show us a Christ with whom we can associate, a Diety who knows the struggles and humanity of his Creation, a God who is not only Father, but Brother.
Patrick Reardon takes readers on a detailed tour of the life of Christ. From Jesus' childhood as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, to his baptism and ministry, to his excruciating and gory execution, The Jesus We Missed offers readers a greater understanding of the profound significance of the incarnation.
My appreciation for Christ's humanity-and in turn, his divinity-was deepened. Reardon's book has shown me that the things Christ truly is the second Adam, the new Man, that we are called to imitate. This book boldly shows us that the things we so often write of as "human"-our lust, our pride, our jealousy, our strife-are not at all qualities of the man, but of what C. S. Lewis, in his novel Perelandra, may have called the "unman." Through his incarnation, Christ showed the world that it is not vile to grow tired, to sweat, to work, to vomit, to weep, to die. Rather, he showed us what a true man must become through the work of the Holy Spirit, through relationship and adoption in the Father. And Patrick Henry Reardon reminds us that we must become truly human through kinship with the Son.
I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am sure others readers will agree.
I recently received the book "The Jesus We Missed The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ" by Patrick Henry Reardon for review. My initial impression is this is a great book, but very deep. To put this another way, the book is not a casual read. Patrick Reardon is a scholar and it shows in his writing. If you are looking for a feel good, light read to grow closer to Christ then pass up on "The Jesus We Missed". However, if you are willing to dig deep, to challenge yourself, and more importantly learn more about our savior, then I would highly recommend this book.
As Christians we often say that Jesus was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God. The statement is easy to say, much harder to understand. In this book, Reardon dives deep into the scriptures to show us the humanity of Christ. By looking at the gospel narratives, and drawing from life itself, Reardon draws a more detailed picture of Christ than many of us have ever thought about. Reardon takes details from scripture, even the difference in details to help focus our image of Jesus. All of this is brought together in "The Jesus We Missed."
The book is entirely too detailed to review adequately in this short blog. Needless to say, if you have a desire to grow in your understanding of Jesus. If you can handle a in-depth systematic look into scripture then this is the book for you. This is no light read, but it is a good study. I would recommend it for those who have a deeper theological background.
This book can transform the way you read the Gospels. That's what it did for me.
I have to be honest, though, when I read the first paragraph, with all of its academic tone and scholarly style, I sarcastically thought, "Well, this'll be a real page turner."
And it was! Even though I'm not a seminary grad or a Christology scholar, I actually had to force myself not to read too quickly, for fear I'd overlook the significance and depth of Reardon's argument. This is an academic work, no question about it. It is not written to be a Christian pop culture phenomenon and isn't going to end up launching a t-shirt line or bumper stickers.
But if you've ever grown tired of hearing the same-old, same-old lessons on the Gospels, this book will bring refreshing perspective and depth. Reardon gives a detailed analysis of Jesus' time on earth, from His incarnation through the passion, reminding us of all that Jesus gave up when He left heaven and came in human flesh. While the argument wandered at times, perhaps, from the point at hand, His ultimate goal was achieved---to challenge the way we've thought about Jesus.
This matters because we often mis-read Scripture by forgetting that Jesus was fully human while communing with the Father, discovering His own identity, choosing His disciples (including His betrayer), and tasting death. Ultimately, I can't think of any book that has so informed and transformed my knowledge of Christ.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.