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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.From Publishers Weekly:
A common stereotype of a religious person is someone with a dour face, hands clasped in prayer while sternly warning others about the dangers of the flesh. Author Garrison (Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church), contributing editor for Sojourners, blows that image away and helps all Christians laugh at themselves and the crazy ways they misunderstand Jesus. The author's irreverent style is charming, but she does not use humor as a crutch; she clearly comprehends the Christian tradition and calls both progressive and conservative believers to task for misrepresenting the faith. The gospel, she contends, should not be twisted to fit personal agendas. Garrison reports on her travels to the Holy Land and across the U.S., all the while astutely observing and commenting on a variety of religious lifestyles and traditions. Never missing an opportunity to get a laugh, the author's stories are peppered with jokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary about how Christians have "lost" Jesus. As with any comic, some of the humor misses the mark, but the gist is clear: Christians must examine the core of their faith, understand that religion is not "all about me," and, most important, share a good laugh.
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