Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A More Christlike God by Bradley Jersak

What is God like?
A punishing judge? 
A doting grandfather? 
A deadbeat dad? 
A vengeful warrior?
'Believers' and atheists alike typically carry and finally reject the toxic images of God in their own hearts and minds. Even the Christian gospel has repeatedly lapsed into a vision of God where the wrathful King must be appeased by his victim Son.  How do such 'good cop/bad cop' distortions of the divine arise and come to dominate churches and cultures?
Whether our notions of 'god' are personal projections or inherited traditions, author and theologian
Brad Jersak proposes a radical reassessment, arguing for
A More Christlike God: a More Beautiful Gospel.
If Christ is "the image of the invisible God, the radiance of God's glory and exact representation of God's likeness," what if we conceived of God as completely Christlike-the perfect Incarnation of self-giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love? What if God has always been and forever will be 'cruciform' (cross-shaped) in his character and actions?
A More Christlike God suggests that such a God would be very good news indeed---a God who Jesus "unwrathed" from dead religion, a Love that is always toward us, and a Grace that pours into this suffering world through willing, human partners.

My review:
  As soon as I saw the email about this book, the title caught my eye. "A more Christlike God". I read the description and was intrigued, so I ordered it for review.

 The idea of the book is so many people, myself included, have struggled to have the right view of God. Yet, it is rare for people to have the wrong view of Jesus. According to the Bible, Jesus and God the Father are one, so if that is the case, then God is just like Jesus. It is somewhat heavy of a thought, yet totally biblical and one that makes a lot of sense.

  The author tackles the most common wrong views of God in chapter two, then spends the rest of the book showing what the right view of God is.

  This book is classified as theology, and that is the kind of book I rarely read, but it isn't your grandfather's old dusty and dry theology books. Even though there is a lot of depth in the book, it is an interesting and easy read, yet one that still makes you think.

  After each chapter, there is a "pausing to think" section, which has some points and questions to ponder relating to the chapter. Following that is a short prayer.

  As with any theology book, I don't agree 100% with the author or how he presents a few things, but it is a book I would highly recommend, especially for those who struggle to have the right view of God.

About the author:

Brad Jersak (PhD) is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC. He is on faculty at Westminster Theological Centre (Cheltenham, UK), where he teaches New Testament and Patristics. He also serves as adjunct faculty with St Stephen's University (St. Stephen, NB). He is also the senior editor of CWR (Christianity Without the Religion) Magazine, based in Pasadena, CA.

A More Christlike God is available from Plain Truth Ministries.

Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy.