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Every attempt to write a ""life"" of Jesus, says Dr. Morton Scott Enslin, has been a failure. The materials are not available. The four Gospels are neither biography nor history; their authors, none of them eye-witnesses of the events they record, used collections of material which was largely used for missionary preaching as zealous followers of the crucified prophet sought to continue his work of proclaiming the momentary coming of the expected Kingdom. But while a biography cannot be written, Jesus can be known as we see him engaged in a life and death struggle in the midst of real men, enemies and friends alike, and demanding from his followers the same commitment and devotion to their tasks which he brought to his. ""The one whom we call Lord .... by his unflinching bravery and devotion, by his fidelity to his task, transformed his followers not by miracles which he wrought, not by miracles which were later wrought upon him, but by the life which he lived, he transformed them into men like himself, who recognized him for what he was and thus saw God in him."" Dr. Enslin avoids any reliance on the supernatural in this essay on the prophet of Nazareth, who for him stands as a challenge to do in our day the equivalent of what he did in his. It is bravely written, and with much human warmth, but lacks the dimension in which man can find meaning and purpose in his life because God has sought him out in his failure in the person of Jesus Christ who asks men not to be imitations of Him but to be one with Him. The student who considers himself a ""liberal"" theologically will find his position well presented here; others will find scant nournishment.

Publisher: McGraw Hill