” I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” – Gandhi
Thus opens the book “The Gospel According to Jesus” by Chris Seay. Within the first chapter you begin to quickly see that maybe what Gandhi said is true. Chris Seay gets to work early in the book in defining his belief (backed up statistically) that Christians have moved away from the teaching of Jesus. We have completely misunderstood and re-defined the word “Righteousness”. While that may sound like he do so in a condemning way, he does not. He simply makes the case and allows the reader to ask themselves if they too fall into that category.
I enjoyed this book. Over the past few years I too have wondered if we haven’t gotten this thing a little backwards, upside down and ultimately…wrong. While I believe the core teaching in churches is scriptural and truth, I wonder if Jesus didn’t make it pretty simple. As Chris Seay points out, he didn’t give us a list of music to not listen to, clothes not to wear and movies not to watch. He charged us to feed His sheep and grow His kingdom. I loved this quote:
You can’t say to Jesus, ‘Hey, Jesus, you and I have this great intimate personal relationship, but I am just not into your people. They are too much work. Very needy. They don’t keep their word and they wear too much makeup.’ Well, you would be right on some fronts. Jesus people are not perfect. They are broken, they will disappoint you, but they will also inspire you. They will fail you, but they will also love you. If you love Jesus and want to be part of Jesus’ reign, it also means that you are part of Jesus’ (broken) people. Welcome to the family.
I found the book challenging and intriguing. Like other books I have read, I think it is important to pause and ask if we’re doing this thing called Christianity as Jesus instructed. The only element of the book I didn’t care for was the conversations he recorded (through words) with his friends. While I understand the intent, it was hard for the reader to immerse themselves in the conversation since they are only reading it. It is only used in a few portions of the book so it is a minor distraction and more of a personal opinion. As Chris Seay said:
But there’s no instant perfection. It just won’t happen this side of heaven. On this side of heaven, we simply continue to pursue Jesus.
I give “The Gospel According to Jesus” a 4 out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a free copy of this book as part of their bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”