The Winner Is… and a Review of Jesus Is ______

Unexpected Gifts: a book review in community
March 12, 2013
Examine Life and Search for Meaning
March 23, 2013



And the winner is….

Congratulations…To Scott, Jen, and Elizabeth who won copies of “Unexpected Gifts” by Chris Heuertz. You can see the review in two parts done here and with Tim Hoiland at his blog.  To all the winners, enjoy, they’ll be posted in the mail to you this week.


Jesus Is….A Review

Judah Smith is someone I think I would like if we met. With that said, I am not sure I understood the title of his new book, Jesus Is _______until part way through the book. Oh, I get that most Sunday School answers fall in to three categories: God, Jesus, read your Bible, but this book isn’t your Sunday school version of getting to know Jesus. This book is firmly grounded in reality in time and space. On page 94, speaking about the Pharisees, Smith writes, “they thought the point was being good and doing good. But it wasn’t. The point was Jesus.” And herein is where the title dawned on me.

Jesus is the main point of the Bible and the central figure of Christianity and the central person of the Gospel. And yet, so many books seek to speak about Jesus as supplemental or there are theology texts that miss grace. Smith, though, speaks of grace often and for that reason alone, I like this book a lot. The tone is conversational and at times it will seem aimed at a younger audience (ie: his confession to like Michael Jackson music and phrases like ‘the rant on the mount), but older, more seasoned followers of Jesus may be jolted awake by references to the author’s friendship with Master’s champion Bubba Watson or the phrase Zombie Jesus (which I am still not sure what to do with). I do have a concern that on pg. 171, Smith says that sin is “missing the mark” and sin is so much more than that in its implications. Judah Smith knows this and does an admirable job reminding us of Jesus and grace and that the two words: Jesus and grace, should never leave our focus. And for that reason, this book is worth your time.

(this book was given to me by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.)

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