Friday, September 30, 2016

book review: #OrganicJesus

title: #Organic Jesus
author: Scott Douglas
year: Kregel Publications
publisher: 2016

Scott Douglas has written an interesting book on finding Jesus. He asks the question: "If Generation Next is supposed to question everything and trust no one, where does faith fit in?"

If as consumers we demand that our food be pesticide-free, our cosmetics and shampoo be paraben-free and that everything possible - from clothes to toilet paper - be made without additives or chemicals. 

But what about Christianity, it has included all sorts of additives. How do we get back to the 100% organic version of Jesus?

In #OrganicJesus, Scott Douglas goes on a funny, thought-provoking romp through the foundations of belief. Christianity, he says, has become a simulacrum - a bloated, over-processed image that lacks the true substance of the real thing. 

Scott Douglas looks at historical Christ figures, urban legends, odd facts about the faith, and freakishly flawed Christians, often using a sense of humour (that some may find a little odd - but I really liked!) All of this is to get back to to the essence of Jesus.

There is nothing new or especially radical in #OrganicJesus. His picture of #OrganicJesus could fit in nearly any time or place, denomination or religious community. Which means some will find him to be a troublemaker for the culture and a comforter for the afflicted.

It's not a perfect book, but then it doesn't pretend to be. It only scratches the surface of the real Jesus. I so appreciated his description of trinitarian theology. He highlights the mystery and challenge of understanding trinitarian theology, and challenges Christians to stop using dumb models to explain it. 

"The Trinity is the dumbed-down version of God - God explained in the absolute simplest form. God in his entirety - the One we will know in the next life - is far more vast and complex. But out minds are just not equipped to understand so splendid a being."
In our attempts to try and explain the mysterious, we obscure it and send us down rabbit trails.

Whether it’s the Trinity, Creation, or worship music and prayer, Douglas sets the stage with the history, the debate, and carefully looks at the confusions. And then he gets to the core question(s) about who this Jesus really is.

Do I recommend #OrganicJesus? Yes.
It’s a good, easy read for those searching for a way through the chaos of faith. #OrganicJesus is far more attractive, accessible, and compassionate than most of what we see in North American religion. And he is far more engaged and loving than we get from much of evangelical witness.

Like organic farming, the pursuit of #OrganicJesus is healthy and normal. And, at least, part(s) of the church have been doing this for 2000 years, not just the last 5. And unlike the prepackaged Jesus, this one has more than 5 pre-programmed responses.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book as part of the Speakeasy Blog Review Program
in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

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