Thursday, March 09, 2017

Book Review of Jesus Behaving Badly by Mark L. Strauss


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Jesus Behaving Badly: The Puzzling Paradoxes of the Man from Galilee
by Mark L. Strauss
ISBN 978-0-8308-2466-3
IVP Books
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Sometimes the popular picture of Jesus is not the most accurate depiction of who the Christ really was. If we are not careful, we can buy into some version of "South Park Jesus" who wants to help us with self-esteem enhancement, is more interested in being nice than be in being true, and who comes across as a needy, whiny fellow in a sweater vest who wants to be everyone's buddy.

The truth is, Jesus was far more tough, surprising, and unpredictable than we would anticipate at first glance. Mark Strauss argues in Jesus Behaving Badly that at first glance many of Jesus's actions and ideas may come across as offensive and politically incorrect in today's culture. With chapter titles such as "Environmentalist or Earth Scorcher: Killing Pigs and Cursing Trees" or "Hellfire Preacher or Gentle Shepherd: Scaring the Hell Out of You", Strauss brings modern concerns into conversation with the ancient text. In doing so, he shows that the Bible is more relevant than many folks think, and Christ is more interesting than many people give him credit for.

This book would be great for a Sunday School class or small group. If used, the result will be to know the person and message of Jesus better, and to dig into the Word of God in ways people perhaps had not considered before.


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