Comments on “The Jesus I Never Knew”

I’ve been reading Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew and have only several pages left to read. Like always at the end of a good book, I’m sorry to see the end coming.  Yancey’s calm, thorough, careful writing soothed and fed me when I felt restless and hungry for rich words and truth.

He writes about Jesus’ world, what it must have been like to breathe that air, to walk those roads. In many ways, I’m not sure that it was so different from today’s gritty, tentative, restless towns. More than ever to me, Jesus is the hero to follow, the leader to believe in. And the audacity hits me sometimes, that I say I try to live like He did, because of my colossal failures in loving and serving like He did/does.

The best parts of the book are the last two chapters: “Kingdom: Wheat Among Weeds” and “The Difference He Makes.” The words and ideas are full of triumph and purpose, not heady and empty ideas, but solid and real–truer than our present physical surroundings.

I recommend this book, not just because of the easy-to-digest writing style, but because of the content that can lead to the source of Life.

And as an aside: Someone wrote me recently to ask why I’m reading Yancey, because she heard that he left the faith. I sighed, not because of the question, but because of the rumor. Someone has not been doing their homework, and jumped on a victim and spread a lie without reading to the end of the story.  So Yancey did leave the faith in his youth, but the fruit of his life now shows his allegiance to Christ. Who hasn’t done stupid things when they were young?

Please do yourself a favor and when you hear negative things about an author, don’t write him/her off as poison. Ask good questions of people you trust, don’t believe everything you hear or read on the internet, read books with discernment. ALL books are going to be flawed because their authors are flawed. But we can be students and ask good questions and learn the good that people have to teach us and at the same time be honest about the things that aren’t truth.

(The aside turns into a rant so the speaker steps off her soapbox.)

3 thoughts on “Comments on “The Jesus I Never Knew”

  1. I so agree with you. I have read books that others have had questions about but I can’t always go on someone else’s say so. I’m going to have to develop my own convictions. After all hopefully I can learn from anyone. Any educated reader should be able to glean the wheat and throw away the chaff.

  2. Thank you so much for the aside-turned-rant. My father was a minister for some years before succumbing to pride and alcoholism, leading to many other things, including turning his back on God. People have tended to discredit everything he ever said because he didn’t stay true. We all fall down–but falling doesn’t mean we never stood!

    • Thanks for commenting here–and for understanding! It looks like you’ve made wise choices with the heartbreak of your father’s choices. Bless you! We are all broken and in need of grace.

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