The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is
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The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is

Baker Books / 2015 / Paperback

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From hit songs to bumper stickers, Jesus is trending high wherever you look. But popular culture's "Americanized" portraits (e.g., Guru Jesus, Braveheart Jesus, Dr. Phil Jesus, Free-Range Jesus) fall decidedly short and cannot save. Darling hearkens back to the New Testament God-man who rose triumphant over the grave. 160 pages, softcover. Baker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 080100649X
ISBN-13: 9780801006494

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Publisher's Description

From hit songs to bumper stickers to eye-black, Jesus is trending high wherever you look. But at the end of the day, many "try Jesus" and come away disappointed in the experience. That's because the Jesus of popular culture looks much more like us than the God-man who appeared in the flesh two thousand years ago. We've got Guru Jesus, Braveheart Jesus, Dr. Phil Jesus, Free-Range Jesus, and plenty more imposters that feed into our selfish desires. The problem is, they don't have the power to save us or transform us into new creations. Luckily, it doesn't have to be that way.

The Original Jesus calls readers back to the Jesus who demands our worship--the potter who molds us, the clay. Seekers, skeptics, and sojourners in the way of faith will see Jesus for who he really is: God in the flesh, calling us to surrender our very lives that we may truly live. Foreword by Russell Moore.

Author Bio

Daniel Darling is the vice president of communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. A former pastor, Darling is the author of several books, as well as a speaker and blogger. He contributes to a weekly column for Leadership Journal and his work can be found in the Washington Post, Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, Relevant, Beliefnet.com, Homelife, The Gospel Coalition, Crosswalk.com, and many more print and online publications. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Displaying items 1-4 of 4
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  1. Dr. Rob
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Much Needed Book
    November 19, 2015
    Dr. Rob
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is a book that our Christian culture needs! What we believe about Jesus is the most important thing about us, because our view of Jesus, will shape where we spend eternity, and the joy we can have in getting there.

    The content of the book is good, in what it covers, but could have been improved with a clearer presentation of who Jesus is, Biblically at the end of each chapter sharing who Jesus is not.

    A helpful book, that is needed, and I hope can help shape the next generations hunger for a Biblical view of Jesus.

    This book was provided free for an honest review by Graf marketing, and Baker Books.
  2. pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Which Jesus do you follow
    August 26, 2015
    pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I just read Daniel Darlings The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is (Baker Books, 2015) and have to say that I like the original Jesus better than anything I could ever dream up.

    Darling takes a sometime tongue -in-cheek approach to the various Jesus figures that people have created for themselves over time, often going back decades and centuries, and comparing those creations to Jesus the Christ as discovered in Scripture. Meet Guru Jesus, Dr Phil Jesus, along with Braveheart, REdletter, BFF and one of my favorites, Legalist Jesus (they forgot to tell me in Seminary that one of my pastoral duties would be to hand out a list of music and movie ratings that 'good Christians' would enjoy. And of course we understand that 'legalist' is the term that Christians so freely apply to anyone who doesn't agree with you.

    I actually liked this book quite a bit, and would have liked it more if I didn't know way too many people who expect me as a pastor to preach from the pulpit the Jesus that they have created for themselves (and expect others to embrace). Some of the chapters seemed to be the 'lite version' of what he wanted to or should have said about the Jesus of the Gospels. This is also an idea which has been used before, although with a different approach and different examples.

    As a disclaimer, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. There was no requirement to write a positive review, only that it be my own thoughts.

    3.5/5
  3. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Unmasks myths but no original Jesus revealed
    August 25, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Darling is concerned about the kind of Jesus the American church culture is promoting. He is one we can resonate with a Jesus we can shape and mold into our liking.

    Darling's aim in this book is to knock down those mythical images of Jesus and reveal Jesus as He is.

    He does a good job of identifying those false images of Jesus and why they are so attractive. He writes about the Guru Jesus and the Red-Letter Jesus. He explores the American Jesus or the Republican Jesus. He discusses politics and various causes Christians want Jesus to promote. In his chapter on the Left-Wing Jesus, he writes about the best delivery system for raising the poor out of poverty. (78) I thought he got a bit off track in that discussion, writing about free markets, wages, profit, economic growth, creating wealth, and the right to private property. He notes, The creation of wealth provides more opportunity for charitable giving. (85) He adds that readers are to understand he is not saying Jesus gives his endorsement to all aspects of our modern economic system. (85) I didn't know Jesus gave an endorsement to any aspect of our modern economic system. It was strange, after reading a chapter on the American Jesus that Darling wrote so much about the American economic system. I kept wondering how that would apply to Christians in an oppressed nation, say under a dictatorship.

    Later on, in his chapter on the Prosperity Jesus, Darling does remind us, The call to discipleship is one of self-denial and sacrifice (Luke 9:23). (111)

    Perhaps what was missing in the whole discussion of the poor and wealth is what I found missing in the book in general. Darling has done a great job identifying the wrong images of Jesus but fails to give us a right view of Jesus. I would have appreciated a paragraph or two at the end of each chapter suggesting the right image of Jesus in response to the wrong one. In that respect, this is not a biblical study of who Jesus is, what he is like, what he taught on subjects.

    This missing aspect of the book was really apparent in his chapter on the importance of being a part of a church body. He makes reference to three sayings of Jesus, eighteen references to other books in the New Testament and one reference to an Old Testament passage. We read much more of what Paul said about being part of a church than Jesus did. I found it odd that in a book about revealing the real Jesus, Darling did not make reference to Jesus' practice of regular synagogue attendance as an example for us today.

    So this book was not what I expected. After reading it, I pretty much know who Jesus is not, but am left having to do my own research in the gospels to remind myself of who He really is. In that respect, Darling did not fulfill the second part of his aim, to reveal Jesus as He really is.

    I appreciate Darling's premise. He wonders if we have lost the transcendence of an Almighty God. We seem to have lost touch with the divine mystery of Christ. (135) Jesus has become our buddy, our best friend. I just wish Darling would have brought us to the feet of Jesus and reminded us of His majesty.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  4. GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is
    August 18, 2015
    GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This book is one the target audience will probably never read. The cover is less than attractive for starters. The back page clearly identifies Darling with several conservative organizations that carry enough assumed baggage to deter many readers. For those that persevere the contents will not disappoint their expectations.

    Those that most need to rethink who Jesus is generally respond to a different style of writing and presentation in my opinion. The author may like lattes, but thats about as far hell get with many people. But, I thought maybe I had misread him, so I tried his blog. The same I need to correct your theology tone oozed from that as well.



    I dont write many reviews this negative, but this one I just couldnt avoid. What the author has to say is important, but he doesnt seem to know his audience or prefers preaching to the choir in my opinion.

    I would ask that you read this book and form your own opinion just to give this author a fair shake.

    I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.
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