A writer offers a detailed examination of Jesus from a Christian point of view.
This book from Gulbrandsen (Jesus Delayed, 2016, etc.) wants to introduce readers to all sides of the “real” Jesus and warns them that this version will probably be unfamiliar to them. The author tells his readers that they’ve probably grown accustomed to “half a Jesus” and may not like the one he presents in these pages. “You prefer the sugar-sweet Jesus,” he writes, “because he makes you feel good.” He delineates three familiar aspects of Jesus: Jesus the historical figure, Jesus the man, and Jesus as God. He describes his book as an attempt to provide readers with “the full and objective truth about our Saviour” rather than the “cherry-picked Jesus” they usually meet in Christian books. Gulbrandsen then lays out hundreds of quotes from Scripture, each followed by an explication of his own along fundamentalist Christian lines. (And with some of the usual fundamentalist embellishments, as when he writes, with no scriptural basis, that “Jesus had to throw Lucifer, one of his closest friends and co-workers who was also named ‘the Shining One’ or ‘light-bearer,’ out of heaven.”) Typically, the author will present a quote from the Gospels and then comment on it, and these reflections are quite thought-provoking, although there are a few hitches. Some of the passages present Gulbrandsen with insuperable problems, as when Jesus famously assures his followers that anything they request in prayer will be granted them (Mark 11:24) —something obviously not the case. “I seriously considered not including this verse,” the author admits, concluding: “Who am I to ignore or filter out his teaching? There you have it. You figure out what this looks like in your life.” Elsewhere, Gulbrandsen’s commentaries are punchy and uplifting, urging his readers to embrace the salvation aspects of the faith. “You need to get over bitterness and hate—for your own sake,” he writes. “Forgiveness is like putting down a heavy burden.”
An intriguing study that delivers a sharper and more challenging Jesus for Christians to contemplate.