A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way
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A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way  -     By: Bradley Jersak

A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way

Whitaker House / 2021 / Paperback

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Product Information

Title: A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way
By: Bradley Jersak
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Whitaker House
Publication Date: 2021
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
Weight: 14 ounces
ISBN: 1641236523
ISBN-13: 9781641236522
Stock No: WW236523

Publisher's Description

The Scriptures are an essential aspect of the Christian faith. But we have often equated them with the living Word Himself, even elevating them above the One to whom they point. In doing so, we have distorted their central message—and our view of God. Tragically, this has caused multitudes of people unnecessary doubt, confusion, and pain in their encounters with the Scriptures.

Many people understand God as being truly loving and good. Yet, they struggle with depictions of God in Scripture as wrathful, violent, and genocidal. These "toxic texts" have caused some to set aside their Bibles as R-rated and unreliable. They have led others to completely reject their faith.

Author and theologian Bradley Jersak has wrestled deeply with such passages over many years. He has experienced the same questions, doubt, and pain. In A More Christlike Word, he offers a clarifying and freeing path forward. Whether readers consider themselves believers, doubters, or skeptics, all are invited to a more beautiful and ancient way of reading the Scriptures. Bradley calls this path the "Emmaus Way" because it demonstrates how Jesus regarded all Scripture as fulfilled in himself, the final Word of God who reveals the true nature of the Father.

After deconstructing the modern biblicist/literalist approaches to Scripture interpretation that have failed us, Brad turns to the early church for a hermeneutic of prefigurement, treating the Bible as the grand narrative of redemption, told through a polyphony of voices and worldviews, culminating in the arrival of Christ as the eternal Word of God—what God has to say about himself.

The interpretive system of the church fathers and mothers who gathered the New Testament and preached the gospel from the Old Testament has largely been ignored or dismissed by both evangelical and liberal movements, the twin children of modernity. The patristics explain and model the apostles’ Christ-centered interpretation of the Scriptures. Brad applies their approach to "unwrath" sample passages from each genre of the Bible, showing how even the cringe-worthy texts have an important place in the Christotelic saga of divine love.

Your journey on the Emmaus Way will open up to you the fullness of the Scriptures, and, most important, lead you to the God who deeply loves and welcomes you.

Author Bio

Bradley Jersak is the Dean of Theology & Culture, a graduate studies program at St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada. He also serves as an editor at CWRmagazine and Clarion-Journal.com. Bradley and his wife, Eden, have lived in the Abbotsford area of British Columbia since 1988, where they served as pastors and church planters for twenty years. Bradley is the author of a number of nonfiction and fiction books, including A More Christlike God, A More Christlike Way, Her Gates Will Never Be Shut, Can You Hear Me?: Tuning in to the God Who Speaks, and The Pastor: A Crisis. He has an MA in biblical studies from Briercrest Bible College and Seminary, an MDiv in biblical studies from Trinity Western University/ACTS Seminary, and a PhD in theology from Bangor University, Wales. He was also a visiting scholar at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, for post-doctoral research in patristic Christology.


Editorial Reviews

[A More Christlike Word] is both fascinating, not that complicated (in my humble view) and yet a major release that is going to be debated, I’m sure. I hope you know this important writer.… This new book is the third in a series starting with A More Christlike God which was followed by A More Christlike Way; the first was about how best to understand God—if we want to know about God, we must see God the way God really is: namely, in the Person of Jesus Christ who perfectly reveals the Father. The second book in this series was similar: if we want to know what it means to be a Christian, we need a more beautiful way of living that is truly Christ-like. And so, naturally, this new third one follows this same schema: to understand the Bible we must understand it in light of Jesus. In all three cases, this is nothing but good Christian sense and classic, old-school theology. And, yet, as Jersak shows, in all three cases, it is an insight that is nearly revolutionary these days and not at all the way ordinary religious people usually approach these things. To see God as Christ-like, not wrathful; to see our discipleship as a Way and not a mere intellectual assertion of doctrinal claims; to see the Bible as a pointer to Jesus and His redemptive story—all are deeply right truths and (yet oddly) ripe for controversy.… [Brad Jersak is] curious and interesting and a wide-ranging thinker. And yet, A More Christlike God: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way isn’t a heady argument but a sweet invitation to a richer, more transformative encounter with the printed page of the Bible and the living Christ who, through His Spirit, draws us into His presence through the various genres of this sacred book. (The "Emmaus" allusion is not incidental but key.)… This book will rock your world and yet it is wise and always invites us to hear Jesus, the living Word.… We are happy to recommend it.
—Byron Borger
Hearts & Minds Books

A brilliant and compelling journey into reading Scripture as expounded by Christ himself on the road to Emmaus, gently exposing and correcting the weaknesses of many modern presuppositions and opening us up to the more wonderful mystery of a loving God. A More Christlike Word will be sure to touch the hearts of many.
—Fr. John Behr
Regius Chair of Humanity, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Bradley Jersak has spent a lifetime immersed in the Scriptures. And now, with A More Christlike Word, he shares with us his hard-won insights on how to interpret the Scriptures as Christ himself did on the Emmaus road that first Easter. Of the many recent books on biblical interpretation, I find A More Christlike Word to be the most thorough and comprehensive. It is a gift!
—Brian Zahnd
Lead pastor, Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, MO
Author, When Everything’s on Fire (fall 2021)
For many of us who are conflicted between our deep respect for the Bible and legitimate questions which that esteem requires we address, Bradley Jersak has gifted us with this welcome companion, educating the mind and freeing the heart to harmonize Scripture with the revelation of God we see in Jesus the Messiah.
—Paul Young
Author, The Shack, Cross Roads, Eve, and Lies We Believe About God
Coauthor, with Bradley Jersak, The Pastor: A Crisis

Brad Jersak is a gifted storyteller, a wise scholar, a careful thinker and reader, and a compassionate human being. He brings these and other assets to the task of helping us rediscover the Bible. I dare to hope that every seminarian will be assigned this book as required reading and that Christians of all denominations and callings will let Brad Jersak reintroduce them to the Bible, a book he knows and loves contagiously.
—Brian D. McLaren
Author, Faith After Doubt
Memoricide is one of the besetting illnesses of our ethos, and a casualty of such an illness is a one-dimensional, literal-grammatical approach to biblical exegesis. A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way is a portal into a more layered and classical exegetical tradition and, as such, both a way-finder to the fullness of the faith journey and an antidote for memoricide.
—Ron Dart
University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada
Have you ever felt that seemingly "toxic" texts in the Bible suffocate rather than strengthen faith? If so, then this book will help you find a way to hear the life-giving Word speaking through Scripture—even the tough parts. Bradley Jersak faces difficult passages head-on with honest, provocative, wise, and stimulating insights. Here is an accessible and informed guide to Christ-centered biblical interpretation.
—Rev. Dr. Robin Parry
Author, The Evangelical Universalist and The Biblical Cosmos
If you find the Bible heavy lifting rather than finding yourself carried by Jesus, the incarnate Word himself, and his indescribably good gospel of love, A More Christlike Word is for you. It will invite you to move from simply reading verses through an unexamined lens to always listening for the revelation of Christ, by Christ, who reveals what is true concerning the relentless, renewing love of God our Father, and, thus, what is true about us as his beloved ones.
—Dr. Cherith Nordling
Sessional Lecturer, Regent College, Vancouver
Author, Knowing God by Name
Brad Jersak is passionate about reclaiming the Bible. Don’t for a moment take that to mean that he’s doubling down on the status quo. Instead, he’s boldly inviting us to trade in the more recent glasses that have told us what the Bible means for a much earlier prescription—lenses that dare us to see the Bible through the image of Jesus stamped on our hearts and woven through its pages. Then, watch it come to life!
—Gary Best
Former National Director, Vineyard Canada
Author, Where Joy Is Found
Brad Jersak is a mapmaker, and A More Christlike Word: Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way is an atlas of sorts, a trusty guide for the journey ahead. This is a necessary book for our time, when so many people are experiencing crises of faith. For anyone who loves the triune God but has found the Bible problematic, this book feels like utter redemption. A More Christlike Word is an invitation to engage the written word through the living Word.
—Felicia Murrell
Author, Truth Encounters
In Bradley Jersak’s A More Christlike Word, we see the author in status viatoris, on the way out of the idolatry that misplaced the living Word for the gift of Scripture, revealing the presence of the kingdom, precisely because the light of Christ illuminates the biblical text, turning our darkness and judgment to light and mercy, and our spiritual pride to the stance of humility through which the Holy Spirit makes all things new.
—David Goa
Founder, The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life
Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, Canada
What kind of book is the Bible? How should we read and interpret the Bible? How should we tell the Bible’s story with our words and our lives? These are the questions at the heart of this marvelous book by Dr. Brad Jersak. In an era when each person, or each camp, views their own positions as thoroughly "biblical" and judges anyone who dissents as "unbiblical," A More Christlike Word serves as a powerful antidote to this hermeneutical disease. May God bless this wonderful book and help us all to read the Holy Bible in a more Christlike way.
—Joe Beach
Pastor, Amazing Grace Church, Denver, CO
Author, Ordinary Church: A Loving and Longing Look
A More Christlike Word is an extraordinarily fresh, yet remarkably ancient, vision of Holy Scripture. By placing the Bible in its rightful context of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, Bradley Jersak gives space to all its disparate voices—from the legalists to the mystics, from the priests to the common folks, from the prophets to the apostles. Here is an epic story that involves us all, and we are invited to follow Jesus as our Rabbi in community with the hungry. Brilliant, readable, visionary!
—C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D.
Author, The Shack Revisited and Patmos
I can think of no more urgent task for the North American church than to rediscover her sacred scriptures via the "Emmaus Way"—that is, companioned by the illuminating person and counsel of the living, risen Christ. Brad Jersak’s A More Christlike Word mercifully wrestles the scriptures from the gray, gripping fingers of modernity’s literalists and inerrantists and places them back in the supple hands of Jesus.
—Steve Bell
For years, I have been enriched by reading Brad Jersak’s books. With A More Christlike Word, more than ever before, I have been both challenged and thrilled. Whether by digging deeply into issues like the fallacy of inerrancy, demonstrating how to read Scripture at multiple levels, or affirming the centrality of the gospel as the canon of our faith, Brad has shown that Christ—the Word—is the only sure guide for rightly reading the entire Bible.
—Steve Stewart
Founder and President, Impact Nations
Brad Jersak is a trustworthy, fair, good-natured, and generous guide who succeeds in presenting a high view of both Christ and Scripture, even if this means dethroning the latter from the right hand of the Father. If you’ve ever wanted to have an easygoing yet in-depth conversation with Brad Jersak about Christotelic hermeneutics over a beer (and who hasn’t?), reading A More Christlike Word is about as close as it gets.
—Dr. Andrew Klager
Director, Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice
When Jesus spoke with Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration, he gave us a visual icon for a new hermeneutic: Jesus as schooling the Law and the Prophets. Brad Jersak is urging us toward this ancient way of reading Scripture, in which Jesus is our true guide and interpreter. Laying aside unhelpful labels, such as "progressive" and "fundamentalist," Brad focuses on how Jesus actually opened Scriptures to us—and invites us to an Emmaus road experience ourselves.
—Julie Canlis
Author, A Theology of the Ordinary

Christians are people of the Scriptures. But what does that mean for those who’ve undergone "deconstruction"? What can we honestly still believe about these texts? How can we read them? Can we receive them as a gift? In A More Christlike Word, Bradley Jersak takes these questions seriously, handling them carefully and humbly. But he also answers them confidently, persuaded that because God is like Jesus, the Scriptures not only bear witness to the truth but also transfigure us into his likeness.
—Chris E. W. Green
Professor of Public Theology, Southeastern University
Author, Sanctifying Interpretation: Vocation, Holiness, and Scripture

The Bible is a troubling, mesmerizing library, at turns moving, brutal, complicated, and comforting. And almost no one in our time knows how to read it. Enter the first Christians. In A More Christlike Word, Bradley Jersak introduces us to their "Emmaus Way," a Jesus-directed predisposition that unveils the Bible’s mysteries, helping us to smell the aroma, taste the goodness, hear the gladness, see the glory, and touch the wounds of the human God in every book of the Scriptures.
—Fr. Kenneth Tanner
Pastor, Church of the Holy Redeemer, Rochester Hills, MI


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