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The Jesus I Never Knew (1995)
by Philip Yancey
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A little slow and dry in some sections but very informative and thought provoking in others. It’s not one of my all times favorites but in small doses it’s an enjoyable read. Great in depth look at the life of Jesus, history and culture.
What happens when a respected Christian journalist decides to put his preconceptions aside and take a long look at the Jesus described in the Gospels? How does the Jesus of the New Testament compare to the "new, rediscovered" Jesus—or even the Jesus we think we know so well? Philip Yancey offers a new and different perspective on the life of Christ and his work—his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection—and ultimately, who he was and why he came.
I began this, wondering what more could be said about Jesus? Werent we all familiar with every incident in the Bible?
It's an absolutely BRILLIANT read !
Yancey raises all kinds of questions: beginning with the Sunday school portrayal of him - a "sweet Victorian nanny" urging children to be nice. "But how?" he asks, "would telling people to be nice to one another get a man crucified?" How come sinners so liked to be around him- yet today often feel unwelcome in a church?
Yancey considers events in Jesus' life: the Temptation: "In the dark about the Incarnation, Satan did not know for certain whether Jesus was an ordinary man or a theophany or perhaps an angel with limited powers like himself"...he views their encounter as "single combat warriors" who "treat each other with a kind of wary respect,, like two boxers circling one another in the ring.". The Beatitudes (how can the poor be "blessed"? and the sheeer impossibility of the exhortation to "be perfect" (arent we doomed to fail?)
The miracles: Why did Jesus at Cana rebuke his mother "my time has not yet come" but then decide to turn water to wine anyway? Yancey imagines him deciding that his time HAD come- the start of his ministry, the celebrity as news of his powers got out..."A clock would start ticking that would not stop until Calvary".
And Death, Resurrection, Ascencion ("Why? Would it not have been better...if Jesus had stayed on earth?"
I think the overwhelming message that came through was FREEDOM ; God wanting us to willingly follow Him. "Consistently Jesus refused to use coercive power. He knowingly let one of his disciples betray him and then surrendered himself without protest to his captors."
Yancey ponders God's kingdom: it "has no geographical borders...it lives and grows on the inside of human beings. Those of us who follow Jesus thus possess a kind of dual citizenship...an external kingdom of family, cities and nationhood, while at the same time belonging to the kingdom of God."
This is just a brilliant book, and I'm going to re-read it immediately and take notes. (and I dont normally do that!) HIGHLY recommended.
Case 1 shelf 4
Yancey has a thoughtful approach to talking about the gospel and Jesus in very personal ways, while drawing on scriptures and Christian faith traditions to make the ministry and mission of Christ accessible to almost any reader.
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Wikipedia in English (2)
'There is no writer in the evangelical world that I admire and appreciate more.'Billy GrahamPhilip Yancey helps reveal what two thousand years of history covered upWhat happens when a respected Christian journalist decides to put his preconceptions aside and take a long look at the Jesus described in the Gospels? How does the Jesus of the New Testament compare to the 'new, rediscovered' Jesus---or even the Jesus we think we know so well? Philip Yancey offers a new and different perspective on the life of Christ and his work---his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection---and ultimately, who he was and why he came. From the manger in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, Yancey presents a complex character who generates questions as well as answers; a disturbing and exhilarating Jesus who wants to radically transform your life and stretch your faith.The Jesus I Never Knew uncovers a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying. 'No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same,' says Yancey. 'Jesus has rocked my own preconceptions and has made me ask hard questions about why those of us who bear his name don't do a better job of following him.'
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)232 — Religions Christian doctrinal theology Christ; Christology
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2 editions of this book were published by Zondervan.
Editions: 031021923X, 0310385709