Jared Wilson is, among other things, a pastor, a writer, and a participant at one of our favorite blogs, The Thinklings. Phil has already reviewed his recent book, Your Jesus is Too Safe, but I’d like to say a few things about it too.
I picked it up without great anticipation, assuming from the title that it would probably be lots of things I already knew, plus a guilt trip on a deeper Christian life which would only depress me. But I read it with great interest (almost the same as if it had been a novel), and benefited it from it.
It seems to me that Your Jesus is Too Safe is a unified work that may be approached from two different directions (perhaps more; I might have overlooked something). For Christians, it’s a plain-speaking explication of our basic beliefs that develops into a challenge that grows organically out of the theology. I got much good out of this, and received a fresh, important insight that I hope to blog about at a later time.
For the non-Christian reader, it’s a sort of Christianity for Dummies, presenting the essentials of our biblical/theological views in accessible language. (Perhaps too accessible. This book will work well this year, and next year too, but it’s specifically aimed at here and now. Ten years from now the topical jokes [there are quite a few] will be dated.) Alas, even though I might call this a Mere Christianity for the present day, I fear it won’t age as Lewis’ book has.
I have some disagreements. Wilson doesn’t follow Lewis’ lead in eschewing denominationalism. The book is pretty straight Calvinist. As a Lutheran, I think he fails to appreciate the value of the sacraments (which doesn’t mean he despises them. He just views them through Reformed spectacles). And he rejects pretty strongly a position on the meaning of Christ’s cry, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” which I’ve found pretty significant in my own spiritual life.
But all in all, I recommend Your Jesus is Too Safe, both for Christian readers and for their seeker friends. It’s an impressive achievement.