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Addressing The Current Debates About Jesus

November 28, 2015

The Truth About Jesus edited by Donald Armstrong (Eerdmans, 1998)  is a wonderful collection of essays from an Anglican conference gathered to explore and answer issues raised in both the scholarly and popular areas by The Jesus Seminar in Birmingham Alabama. The collection is headlined by N.T. Wright and Alister McGrath who not only answer specific non-scholarly methods and the resulting inaccurate conclusions of people like Robert Funk but also place the discussion in its historic context and expands it to a richer theological, Christian community and Biblical  reflection. I agree with the words of J. I. Packer who claim the “pieces by the British heavy weights Wright and McGrath are alone worth the price of the book”even though the essays make up only the first 48 pages of the 160 page total.

The remaining chapters include discussions on Jesus in the life af the Church, the process of discipleship, as well as Jesus in a cross section of art and cultural images. Of special interest to me was the chapter on Galilee and the renewal of vocations and pastoral ministry. The practical details of the processes of helping pastors recover their sense of identity, mission and purpose built on God’s grace while in the midst of ministry positions was fascinating as was the discussion on “Galilee” on pages 125-127.

Overall this book is well worth seeking out and reading. It is the first book I will recommend to a college student who’s mind is troubled by the seemingly increasing amounts of radical scholarship on the person and work of Jesus.

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