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The Jesus I never knew

by Philip Yancey

  Print book : Biography  |  International trade paper ed

The Jesus I Never Knew   (2006-05-27)


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by D.Ingolfsland

Mention the name "Jesus" and nearly everyone in North America comes up with some mental image....most such images are encrusted with years of tradition from theological preconceptions, Sunday schools, books or even from the media. But what was Jesus really like? And how do you know that your mental image of Jesus corresponds to who Jesus really was?Essentially, this is the question asked and answered in Philip Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew. His first chapter, "The Jesus I thought I Knew" discusses many of these images, like the "kind and reassuring" Jesus, "with no sharp edges at all--a Mister Rogers before the age of children's television", or the "Star Trek Vulcan" like Jesus, always "calm, cool and collected". Yancey presents evidence from the Gospels themselves, that these and other images of Jesus are not entirely accurate.So Yancy sets out to re-examine our image of Jesus. Its not that he destroys all previous images and then himself reconstructs the way it really was. Rather he uses the Gospels, ancient customs and culture, and modern quotations to cause us to re-think our own views of Jesus. Although I have no way of knowing for sure, I suspect that The Jesus I Never Knew is the evangelical answer to Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg, of Jesus' Seminar fame (HarperCollins, 1994). Borg's book is a view of Jesus based on those few bits and pieces of the Gospels and other writings which Borg considers to be authentic. By contrast, Yancey attempts to paint a picture of Jesus which the Gospel writers intended to present.Yancey was once the editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine. His book is challenging, very well written and easy to read. It won the "1996 Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year Award" from the Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association.

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