2004-09-13

Parallels

Still holding out for my copy of The Book to arrive, but just wanted to share a thought on the first (free!) chapter, read so far.

Along with this book, I've just started reading Yancey's "The Jesus I never knew". I picked it up because I suddenly realized, after years as a Christian, that I didn't really understand who Jesus was - I've had to start from scratch on a number of things that I thought I knew, and this is one of them.

Growing up in a single denomination, never venturing out to even attend another denomination's service until recently, I guess there were a number of other Jesus's I didn't get to meet - those that the first chapter talks about, the variety of expressions and attributes that different branches of the faith emphasize.

So, as strange as it may seem to many who know all this stuff, that first chapter has been a bit of an eye-opener to me. Not only an introduction to the ways Jesus is viewed, but also to the many, varied beliefs within the Body. It's interesting to see how different Jesus can be - one Man, so many ways to meet Him, interact with Him and know Him. I can understand wanting to take all these and mould them into a Big Picture, to try gather all the best bits and put them into one. I wonder if we ever, humanly, individually, can do that? Or do our upbringing, our traditions, our beliefs and our encounters with God and man permanently colour how we interpret Jesus?

I'm only done with chapter one of both these books - I can't wait to see what's on the next page!

3 comments:

Bill Arnold said...

I'm excited to talk to my choir this year. Yes, we still have a choir for Christmas and Easter. Anyway, I want to share with them a more Orthodox view of the incarnation. I hope it will help us to really celebrate the season of Christmas for all its worth. I find myself wondering about the true value of Christmas given the kind of upbringing I had--all the emphasis on the Easter part of our story.

It's definitely a great thing to be exposed to these other sides of Jesus we never knew!

marko said...

while you wait for your copy to arrive, the first printing of 4000 has already sold out (in 2 weeks), and the book is in it's second printing. i'm really happy for brian.

dave p said...

There's something really engaging about the beginning of the book. I remarked to my wife as I got through Chapter 0 that it was almost like Dave Barry writing about theology...

Someone like Brian who has seen so many different perspectives of Jesus is especially valuable. The one negative reviewer (so far) on Amazon seems to miss the point when he asks where the Mormon Jesus or Jehovah's Witness Jesus is. Given that the chapter is about perspectives Brian has personally encountered in a meaningful way, we're not exactly going to see those.

Actually, that brings up an interesting point - the one group conspicuously absent from mention in the book are the obviously wacko (playful, provocative term ;-) pseudo-Christian cults. How generous can we be with them?