Who is the real Jesus? Do we remake him in our image and then wonder why our spirituality is less than life-changing and exciting? Steve Chalke--a high-profile visionary in the United Kingdom and an evangelical recognized not only by Christians but by the general public as well--believes that the real Jesus is deeply challenging. And each new generation must grapple with the question of who he is, because only through a constant study of Jesus are we able to discover God himself. This book is written to stir thoughtful debate and pose fresh questions that will help create a deeper understanding of Jesus and his message. It is an encounter with the real Jesus of his world--not the Jesus we try to mold to ours.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 224 Vendor: Zondervan Publication Date: 2004 Dimensions: 5.2 X 7.88 (inches)
ISBN: 0310248825 ISBN-13: 9780310248828 UPC: 025986248826 Availability: In Stock
A fresh look at Jesus that will stir thoughtful debate, pose new questions and hopefully create a deeper understanding of Jesus and his message.
Steve Chalke is an ordained minister and the founder of Oasis, which over the last 25 years has developed into a group of charities working to deliver education, training, youth work, health care and housing around the world. He is the senior minister of Church.co.uk, Waterloo and a UN Special Advisor working to combat people trafficking. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his work in social inclusion.
Alan Mann is a freelance writer, educator and consultant in the area of Christianity and contemporary culture. He has worked with Steve Chalke on numerous publications, including The Lost Message of Jesus.
Chalke, a British social activist, broadcaster and author of The Parenttalk
Guide to Your Child and Sex and Faithworks, asserts that churches neglect
Christ's basic message that "the Kingdom... is available now to everyone
through me." Instead, Chalke says, pieces of Christ's message have been
overemphasized and distorted. Like a refinisher removing lacquer from antique
furniture, Chalke seeks to strip falsity and tradition from the gospel by
examining the accounts of Christ's life in their original context. Clear
explanations and plenty of anecdotes reveal truths that get little air time in
most pulpits. For example, Jesus offered forgiveness outside the temple. In
doing so, he brought hope to people the Pharisees had shut out of the
temple-and threatened the nation's power structure. Such insights illustrate
the immediacy of Christ's message; Chalke says Jesus offered forgiveness "
`right here, right now' and for free." But just as the furniture refinisher
risks damaging the original while restoring its beauty, Chalke scrapes the
outer boundaries of Christian orthodoxy with questionable treatment of the
traditional Western notion of original sin (he cites no scripture in saying
Christ emphasized humanity's "original goodness") and of the atonement. Chalke
appears to reject the idea that Jesus' death was a sacrifice for sin,
maintaining instead that the crucifixion destroyed "the ideology that
violence is the ultimate solution." The book's intent-to free the gospel from
religious bias and expose its unvarnished power-deserves kudos, but some
traditional Christians may greet the specifics with skepticism. (May)
Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The core of Christ's message (although often misinterpreted) is clear: The kingdom, the shalom (peace) of God, is now available to all humankind through Jesus. God's kingdom is one of complete inclusion and acceptance, of forgiveness and a new plan for the world. In The Lost Message of Jesus authors Chalke and Mann assert that it is a tragedy that during past centuries the church has failed to communicate, even understand, this revolutionary message. Instead, say the authors, the Jesus that Christians present as 'good news' is often viewed by the public as 'bad news.'
Chalke, founding director of Oasis Trust and Faithworks, and Mann, a researcher and writer, look at Jesus in His original setting--first century Palestine, with all of its distinctive political, economic, social and religious practices. The authors aim to give readers a picture of Jesus from the perspective of the people He encountered: namely, religious leaders, prostitutes, tax collectors, the powerful, and also the disenfranchised. The authors examine Christ's life from birth to death to show how He radically challenged centuries of Jewish teaching and beliefs about God's character and His plan for humankind. By knitting key events and issues of Christ's life, the authors convey that too often the message Christians preach is influenced more by the culture of the world than by the life-changing message Jesus brought to Earth more than 2,000 years ago.
This book offers lively and informative accounts of Jesus. Besides the fast-paced prose that is filled with interesting details, there is a great range of history that is shared. Instead of just piecing together colorful anecdotes about Jesus, Chalke and Mann capture the central point of His message and ministry. At times there are problems with the authors' declaration that the church has mishandled Christ's original message. They highlight instances of the church's failure to communicate the message, but they do not always clearly convey the fundamental changes in society and culture that resulted in that disjointed message.
This book is written to pose fresh questions and create thoughtful debate. Readers who want to develop a deeper understanding of Jesus will enjoy the analysis given by Chalke and Mann. This book is sure to shed light on the message that Christ continues to bring. -- James C. Hendrix, Ph.D., Christian Book Previews.com