I have been following Jared Wilson’s blog Gospel-Driven Church for the last year or two and have been blessed again and again by his relentless focus on Christ. He has just had his first book published, ‘Your Jesus is Too Safe: Outgrowing A Drive-Thru, Feel-Good Savior‘. He graciously gave me the opportunity to be a part of a blog tour reviewing the book and getting the word out to folks.
From the outset I want to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. This is one of the most theologically rich and yet easy to read books I have read. Wilson has a gift of writing in a way that both grips the heart, lifts the soul in worship, and makes you laugh all in the same paragraph. The book aims to introduces readers to the true Christ of Scripture by looking at twelve characteristics of Jesus. Wilson breaks these down into twelve chapters on Jesus the Promise, Prophet. Forgiver, Man, Shepherd, Judge, Redeemer, King, Sacrifice, Provision, Lord, and Savior. I could see this book being a great addition to theology classes in Bible colleges/seminaries covering Christology. It would also be perfect for a small group study.
To give you a taste of the Wilson’s style, here is one my favorite quotes (out of many) from the book. Wilson writes:
“This world may be in the proverbial handbasket. It may be circling the drain. Our bodies are indeed winding down (and more than a few of us have bodies widening downward). But our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, the keeper of promises. Our Redeemer lives. And one day, he will descend with a shout, and this old earth will get an extreme makeover in an eternal splash of glory, the likes of which will make the aurora borealis look like a Lite-Brite. Our sagging flesh and aching bones and slowing hearts and diseased cells will be taken from us, and we’ll get fresh legs, a freshly purified heart, and fresh lungs to breath the fresh air of the new heaven and the new earth. We’ll get fresh eyes to finally see Jesus face-to-face.” (p. 35)
Wilson offers a wonderful balance of focusing on Christ and challenging the reader with the radical implications of following Christ. One example of this kind of balance is found in his chapter on ‘Jesus the Sacrifice’ where he dives into the depths of Christ’s death and atonement. Wilson only spends a few short paragraphs on the implications but they are powerful. For many, when we think about sacrifice and service we end up proclaiming “Look what I am doing for Jesus;” whereas the real power comes when we proclaim to the watching world what Jesus has done for us. Wilson writes:
“Just as Christ’s sacrifice accomplished such a radical reconciliation for us, living our lives as sacrifices devoted to God for the beauty of redemption means we tear open the veils between others and God. We get to participate in a life here and now with the quality of eternity. when we get down into the dirty, messy, gritty, humiliating, sometimes agonizing life of sacrificing ourselves, we proclaim to the world that Jesus has accomplished atonement.”(p. 215)
I found myself moved to worship multiple times while reading this book. I also found myself moved to care for others more deeply. I think those are the two qualities that make for a great book. As we see Christ more clearly we cannot but savor Him more fully. That moves us to share Him more passionately! This book has been a sweet means to that end in my life. If you get a chance to read it, I pray it may be in yours as well.