Matthew Kelly has a new book in his “Rediscover” themed books. Originally “Rediscover Catholicism”, then “Rediscover Lent” and now Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation.
This is a book for the seeker or somebody that wants to investigate who Jesus was. In the middle of this book he states something I found rather accurate.
Most Christians have been inoculated against the Gospel. They have been given a “vaccine” that contains a small-enough dose of Christianity that they have become immune to the Gospel. Somewhere along the way they where given a little bit of Christianity and now they think they know all about it. Millions who have rejected Christianity have no idea what they have rejected. Many Christians have been inoculated against Christianity. They may go to church on Sunday and in many ways be good members of society, but the inoculation prevents them from truly embracing the Christian faith.
G.K. Chesterton put it more succinctly.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” -What’s Wrong With the World (1910)
Still there are certainly people who want to rectify this situation and to move from Jesus as cultural background noise to something deeper. This book starts from the central question Jesus asked the Apostles “Who do you say I am?” and asks the reader the same question. I then builds on this as to what Jesus said about himself and his actions.
This book with forty chapters is meant to be read daily as the question is explored about who Jesus is and our reaction to the truth of this. The chapters are short and succinct as the cover each topic. At the end I found the topics to be nicely balanced covering the important aspects of sin, repentance, redemption, and growing in holiness. These are the basics and they are well presented and manage to cover a lot of territory. Plus coverage of practical aspects of leading the Christian life. The approach of this book is a generic Christianity for a larger audience beyond just Catholics. It mostly succeeds doing this.
So for the audience this book is intended for, it covers the basics and can be useful for helping someone go further.
My only caveat would be that there are aspects to his writing that annoy me. Much of language is in “motivational speaker mode” like “God wants to see your amazingness” and the-very-best-version-of-ourselves. Also he uses the word “radical” way to often and even more than once in the same sentence. Although as I read this book in one setting, I was more aware of the continuous use of this word.
You can pre-order your copy of Rediscover Jesus_ on either Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Readers who pre-order the book by August 16, 2015, have a chance to win one of several prizes, including an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy with Kelly and those going on the Dynamic Catholic Pilgrimage to Rome this November. To learn more about this sweepstakes, visit DynamicCatholic.com/RediscoverJesus/entry. _Anyone who pre-orders the book will also have access to an exclusive webinar with Kelly, during which he will talk about his writing process, why he decided to write Rediscover Jesus, and why he thinks this is the most important book he has ever written.
This post is part of the the #RediscoverJesus blog tour! To read the next stop, please visit Lisa Cotter writing for FOCUS on the 18th.