Monday, August 9, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore, by John MacArthur

The Jesus You Can't Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of ChristJesus spent a large portion of His ministry in bold confrontation with the Pharisees.  He never minced words, and never failed to point out the flaws of their "do as we say, not as we do" religious ideologies.  This book takes a close scriptural look at what we can learn from Christ's confrontational style.

I am not even sure where to begin with this book.  I really struggled in reading this book.  I am quite sure there is a ton of sound biblical teaching in this book, but I could not even get into it deep enough to find it.  I found myself skimming the pages, and even so, this book took me almost two weeks to read, something unheard of for me.  I could read a book this length in an hour.  I found this book to be boring, and I think it is because it talks about a side of Jesus I find hard to relate to.  I like my Jesus loving, caring, forgiving, and saving.  I know that Jesus also needed to be confrontational, taking a hard stance with the Pharisees, and that this too was an act of love, but I just found this entire book devoted to such harshness a little off putting.  I am sure other Christians would find it thrilling, and would think I am lukewarm for even suggesting otherwise.

I did absolutely love one point MacArthur hammered home, regarding the unforgivable sin.  The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is one made in full knowledge.  It is not one we may make by accidentally incorrectly thinking someone a false prophet, or using discernment to question the legitimacy of a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is not the unknowing person who questions the existence of Christ.  It is the one who knows, in their heart, like the Pharisees did, that Jesus was and is who He says, and still deny it.  That point is made crystal clear in the book, and for that alone, the book is worth reading.

Perhaps those more interested in biblical scholarship, or at a different place in their faith will be more apt to appreciate the book.  It is certainly well written and researched, it was just a topic with which I could not connect.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”