Though many people use the name of Jesus in our day, it often seems that one Jesus bears very little resemblance to another. While almost everyone claims to love Jesus, few seem to know the real Jesus. It is to this problem that Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, addresses his new book Slandering Jesus.
The format is a simple. An opening chapter introduces the problem and the author's rationale for addressing it. "Living as we do at the beginning of a new century, many new Jesuses are being fabricated year by year; this is the age of designer Jesuses." "This book is about a few of the attempts that have been made to remake Jesus of Nazareth into a different kind of Jesus--a Jesus more in tune with the times, or a Jesus who will blend more nicely into the tolerance that our culture prizes so highly." Lutzer introduces six assumptions that give scholars permission to reinvent Jesus according to their own liking:
Lutzer than examines six views of Jesus that are common in our day, explaining each and then showing how it falls short of the truth. He does this under the headings of six lies people tell about Jesus.
After discussing those six lies, Lutzer presents a final chapter entitled "Finding a Jesus You Can Trust." Here he tidies up a few loose ends and shows that the historical evidence for Jesus is strong--that He did exist and that He did die. And here he shows that only Jesus claims exclusive right to present us before the Father. This is a Jesus worth trusting and a Jesus who we must learn to know just as He is. In this chapter and in this book Lutzer shows that those who follows Jesus--the traditional Jesus--have nothing to fear about all of these lies that are being told in His name. Jesus is as controversial today as when He walked this earth. And He is still God.
This book aptly answers many of the claims that slander Jesus' name. He does so in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand. Anyone can read and enjoy this book. I hope many do.
"The cross is the hub that holds the spokes of God's eternal purposes."
"Christians do not measure sin by comparing one person with another, or by how good we might feel about ourselves. Christians measure the seriousness of sin by the suffering needed to atone for it."
"Our greatest temptation is to create a God just like us: forgiving, inclusive, and endlessly tolerant. We are tempted to think that because we are quick to excuse ourselves, that God is also very forgiving, no matter what we do or believe."
"All other religions fall short in their understanding of God and therefore cannot understand the seriousness of sin."
"The only holiness God accepts is His own."
"The reason we think there are many ways to God is that we have lost our capacity to despise our sin."
"Whenever we try to add to Christianity, we subtract from it. ... Those who surrender the uniqueness of Christ do not simply surrender a part of the Christian message, they surrender it entirely."