Who is Jesus, really, and what’s he up to these days? Becky Garrison invites you to laugh and ponder in her self-proclaimed “travelogue of a religious satirist’s search for the risen Christ.” These days, it seems, Jesus doesn’t always show up where we expect to find him. In a series of provocatively titled essay-like chapters, Garrison offers snapshots that take you from her evangelical press trip to the Promised Land in January, 2007, to the Presidential Promised Land, a.k.a. the 2008 elections. You will be treated to thoughtful, well-placed jabs at the shallow, self-reflective, self-righteous finger-pointing of those modern Christians who bend Heaven and theology to make Jesus into someone just like them. Along the way, Garrison captures glimpses of God as she spots both ordinary radicals operating below the spiritual radar and those extraordinary individuals who actually walk the walk. At the crux of this sojourn is thoughtful and articulate consideration of how we “lost” Jesus in the first place, and why we might want to stand face to face with him if we’re going to truly model ourselves after him. Garrison suggests that real spiritual discernment involves looking Jesus up rather than serving him up.
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Becky Garrison is a Contributing Editor for Sojourners. Her books include The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail, Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, and Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church. Her additional writing credits include work for The Wittenburg Door, Geez, Killing the Buddha, and Religion Dispatches, as well as various other odd and sundry publications.Review:
Becky Garrison punctures the top-heavy, celebrity-loaded monster that has become the universe of big-time American religion. This book is long overdue. -- Frank Schaeffer
Among Christian writers, Garrison stands out as one of the most willing to respectfully and thoughtfully engage alternative views, especially those of atheists, agnostics, and even humanists like me. Religious and nonreligious readers alike should make themselves aware of her voice. With her great sense of humor, they’ll be glad they did. -- Greg M. Epstein
Garrison is, without a doubt, Christianity’s premier religious satirist; and in this memoir-cum-travelogue, she takes on the foibles and failings of the faith with all the brio her readers have come to expect from her. Rarely, if ever, has irreverence been rendered more holy than it is here. -- Phyllis Tickle
I found Jesus Died for This? to be a winsome book that evokes snickers and embarrassing nods---as good satire should do---and yet also [reveals] an urgency beneath the laughs, lacking even in many “serious” Christian books, that attempts to constructively tackle the state of the church that we have allowed to take shape. For this reason, I highly recommend it as a book about our current church and some of our most important mid-course corrections, but also as a storytelling strategy that will allow the next generation to join the conversation. -- Andrew Jones
It has been said that the biggest obstacle to Christ has been Christians. Garrison’s book is a lovely reminder that Jesus has survived the embarrassing things we have done in his name, and it is an invitation not to reject Christ because of his followers---after all, we’ve been a mess from the beginning. And it is also a call, not just to complain about the church we see, but to become the church we dream of. -- Shane Claiborne
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