The Lost Message of Jesus

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9780310248828: The Lost Message of Jesus
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A fresh―and perhaps controversial―look at Jesus by one of Britain’s most respected Christian authors. Who is the real Jesus? Do we remake him in our own image and then wonder why our spirituality is less than life-changing and exciting? Steve Chalke―a high-profile visionary in the United Kingdom and an evangelical recognized not only by Christians but by the general public as well―believes that the real Jesus is deeply challenging. And each new generation must grapple with the question of who he is, because only through a constant study of Jesus are we able to discover God himself. The Lost Message of Jesus is written to stir thoughtful debate and pose fresh questions that will help create a deeper understanding of Jesus and his message. It is an encounter with the real Jesus of his world―not the Jesus we try to mold to ours. Themes include: ·The Kingdom of God―shalom―is available to everyone now, through Jesus ·The world outside your own church needs to hear of the depth of God’s love and suffering ·Jesus was a radical and a revolutionary! ·Jesus offers immediate forgiveness, without cost, to anyone ·Jesus shows us repentance isn’t a guilt-laden list of dos and don’ts, but an inspirational vision of a new way to live Focusing on some of the key episodes, events, and issues of Jesus’ life, we will see how too often the message we preach today has been influenced more by the culture we live in than the radical, life-changing, world-shaping message Jesus shared two thousand years ago.

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About the Author:

Steve Chalke is an ordained minister and the founder of Oasis, which over the last 25 years has developed into a group of charities working to deliver education, training, youth work, health care and housing around the world. He is the senior minister of Church.co.uk, Waterloo and a UN Special Advisor working to combat people trafficking. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his work in social inclusion.

From Publishers Weekly:

Chalke, a British social activist, broadcaster and author of The Parenttalk Guide to Your Child and Sex and Faithworks, asserts that churches neglect Christ's basic message that "the Kingdom... is available now to everyone through me." Instead, Chalke says, pieces of Christ's message have been overemphasized and distorted. Like a refinisher removing lacquer from antique furniture, Chalke seeks to strip falsity and tradition from the gospel by examining the accounts of Christ's life in their original context. Clear explanations and plenty of anecdotes reveal truths that get little air time in most pulpits. For example, Jesus offered forgiveness outside the temple. In doing so, he brought hope to people the Pharisees had shut out of the temple—and threatened the nation's power structure. Such insights illustrate the immediacy of Christ's message; Chalke says Jesus offered forgiveness " 'right here, right now' and for free." But just as the furniture refinisher risks damaging the original while restoring its beauty, Chalke scrapes the outer boundaries of Christian orthodoxy with questionable treatment of the traditional Western notion of original sin (he cites no scripture in saying Christ emphasized humanity's "original goodness") and of the atonement. Chalke appears to reject the idea that Jesus' death was a sacrifice for sin, maintaining instead that the crucifixion destroyed "the ideology that violence is the ultimate solution." The book's intent—to free the gospel from religious bias and expose its unvarnished power—deserves kudos, but some traditional Christians may greet the specifics with skepticism.
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