Friday, September 4, 2015
"Rediscovering Jesus" by Capes, Reeves and Richards. A Review.
When we get used to someone, a spouse or children, for example, it’s easy for that relationship to become dull and routine. Just like driving to work day after day, week upon week, and you miss the beauty or uniqueness surrounding your route. The same kind of thing happens for Christians, especially those who rigorously read the Scriptures, day after day, week upon week. So that when it comes to Jesus, predictable assumptions begin to take over, and the surprise and scandal of Jesus becomes planed down and polished smooth. To remedy this, three authors have pooled their talents and expertise together in a 272 page resource intended to freshly bring out some of the distinctiveness of Jesus. “Rediscovering Jesus: An Introduction to Biblical, Religious and Cultural Perspectives on Christ,” is collaboratively penned by David B. Capes, professor of New Testament in the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University; Rodney Reeves, dean of The Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry and professor of biblical studies at Southwest Baptist University, both in Bolivar, Missouri; and E. Randolph Richards, dean and professor of biblical studies in the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
“Rediscovering Jesus” opens out into two sections, the first is biblical, and the second is religious and cultural. Each chapter answers three questions: (1) What picture of Jesus is portrayed in this venue? (2) How is this picture of Jesus different from others? (3) What would it mean if this was our only depiction of Jesus? Whether the authors are examining Matthew, John, Paul and other biblical sources, or they’re looking into the religious and cultural models of Mormonism, Islam, Americanism and others, they follow this three-fold query. Additionally, each chapter ends with discussion questions making this book ideal for group study.
The strength of “Rediscovering Jesus” is that readers will see old things afresh, and stumble onto ideas that may be novel to them. Another asset of this approach is that it helps the Christian to regain some of the original intent of biblical authors, as well as to hear more clearly the assumptions made by others about Jesus. It is an easy to read, non-technical volume that can be simply adapted to Upper School and college level classes, as well as Bible studies. It’s a book worth your time and your money.
My thanks to InterVarsity Press and IVP Academic for the free copy of “Rediscovering Jesus” used for this review.
You can find the book at this link.