An examination of how the Christian God is perceived in modern society.
This 2013 title from long-serving Baptist pastor McClure (Made for Glory, 2016, etc.) hinges on the dramatic moment in the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus asks his disciples about rumors circulating in the region of Caesarea, regarding the identity of a charismatic new preacher. His disciples offer the guesses they’ve overheard—that the preacher is Jeremiah, or Elijah, or even John the Baptist come back to life. Jesus then sharpens the conversation by asking his disciples for their own answer to the question. In the Gospel passage, Peter steps forward with certainty about Jesus’ divine status, and in this book, McClure is equally direct in seeking to clarify the nature of Jesus and the Christian God for his readers. He opens by lamenting how the figure of Jesus has been lessened in the modern era, transforming the majesty of God to “a pawn, or possibly a knight or bishop, in some religious game who doles out blessings if you prime Him with material goods, usually monetary.” McClure wants to restore a more heartfelt Christianity, not the shallow version he finds in many modern churches, which he likens to “snorkeling”: “we have yet to descend into the real depths of the ocean,” he writes. The clarity of McClure’s call to deep Christian commitment, as opposed to mere lip service, is felt throughout this book, as is his certainty that the willing faithful can change the depth of their faith: “if you honestly seek God’s will,” he writes, “your spiritual eyes will be opened to see Him, and your spiritual ears will be open to hear.” Fellow Christian readers, and especially those who may also be impatient with the complacent tone of their worship services, will find it both direct and refreshing that the author wants to restore a dynamic, personal element to their faith that’s been lost to time.
A passionate call for Christians to commit more deeply to the Messiah they proclaim every week in church.