This is the second book in a series by Peter Brookshaw and Stephen Court that looks at the person of Jesus Christ.
(The first book – HOLY! Nine lies, Half-Truths, and outrageous misconceptions about the most radical experience you’ve never lived.)
Who was He? And who does the world say He is?
Peter Brookshaw, who’s not only an author but also a Salvation Army officer, is highly experienced when it comes to receiving criticism for his faith and his writings.
“We live in a kind of culture where there’s lots of different ideas about who Jesus is.
For me I was thinking about a quote from CS Lewis who talks about Jesus Christ who wasn’t just a nice man.
“He wasn’t just a nice moral philosopher.”
Peter described how Jesus walked the earth saying, ‘I am the bread of life, I am the resurrection and the life’, in other words the Lord was practically saying He was sent from God.
CS Lewis said that what Jesus said was either true or He’s a liar and a lunatic, there’s no in between for Jesus.
As for the book’s statement about half truths lies and misconceptions, Peter said it’s a creative way to stimulate people’s thinking about holiness, (meaning the first book)…and the person of Jesus Christ, (the second book.)
Jesus Christ a fairy tale
You don’t have to look far to find articles full of misconceptions about Christ.
Peter named social media and a topic such as religious education in schools for instance.
Someone will get on social media and say Jesus Christ is just a fairy tale.
“But you can talk to an atheist historian who would know Jesus Christ of Nazareth walked the earth.”
“The question is not so much did He exist but who was He? And if He was Lord and He is who He says He is, then what’s our response going to be to Him?”
This is where the books come in with the purpose of countering those ideas of misconceptions and lies and half truths about the nature of Jesus.
For starters, the proof for instance that Jesus walked the earth. The question is validating what He said and whether that’s true.
“What I would say is the transformation in people who have experienced Jesus Christ over the years is enough in and of itself to be an encouragement for people,” Peter responded, speaking of the changes he’s experienced in his own life.
“That kind of testimony is for me enough in itself, but for others we might talk about the probability of all the predictions in the Old Testament actually finding their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.”
Peter mentioned a couple of these predictions; Jesus being born in Bethlehem and riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
“All these things coming true, well the probability of that scientifically is irrational unless there’s truth in those promises.”
People see Jesus in us
Importantly the validation of who Jesus is can be proven by simply putting His words into the actions of our lives and by being obedient to His ways.
“It reminds me of that Scripture ‘People will know that you’re My disciples if you have love for one another. So when people see you loving other people and living out the very words that Jesus said, that establishes credibility,” Peter confirmed.
Reflecting on church history Peter admitted there have been times when Jesus hasn’t been represented well but there are other times when people have lived out what Jesus said.
When we do that well people see Jesus in us and I believe they’re inspired to follow Him because of our actions and how we live that out.
Another aspect of faith Peter tackles in the latest book is Jesus being both divine and fully human.
These are the deep theological and complex ideas that the book attempts to simplify. That Jesus was both divine and a nice man.
Fully human and fully divine
“Jesus wasn’t just a human who walked the earth because He was fully divine and he rose again on the third day. He was fully human, He experienced pain, he experienced grief and loss, He cried when He found out Lazarus was in the grave, and hunger when He was in the desert 40 days without any food,” Peter illustrated, saying we can take encouragement from that.
Peter moved on to sin and that we don’t need to continue to live in a way that has no redemptive lift to it.
We can live in the power of Jesus and the fact that He rose again, and being fully human and fully divine and then begin to live that out ourselves.
Staying with Jesus, Peter described His revolution as a revolution of love.
“Jesus said love God love others which was quite revolutionary in the day. But as we get older in our churches we become a bit more legalistic and we put more rules and regulations around things,” Peter said, adding that if we only stuck with loving God and loving others.
It very much turns things upside down!
It’s all in the book – Jesus Christ: Nine Lies, Half Truths – theological ideas that need to be thrashed out and thought about.
“We didn’t want to create a book that just sat in a library in a Christian theological seminary.”
We wanted a book that people would grab a hold of and begin to interact with the person of Jesus Christ ultimately.
Peter Brookshaw and Stephen Court have set out to write books that inspire people and challenge them to think about who Jesus is.
“So I think this little pocket-sized book is an opportunity for people to grab hold of some of those ideas about Jesus and begin to implement them in their lives.”
If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below
(Information for the first book in the series.)
Holy!: Nine lies, half-truths and outrageous misconceptions about the most radical experience you’ve never lived
7 July 2016 – Published on Amazon.com
This is a fast-paced, engaging, slightly provocative look at a somewhat tired subject: holiness. When we hear the word holiness we think of words like, ‘bland’ and ‘boring’ and even ‘irrelevant’. Stephen Court and I challenge that thinking. Following Jesus is life-changing, exciting and it radically re-focuses your life to God. Strap yourself in and give Holy! a read, and be inspired to change the way you live and commit yourself to living a holy life for Jesus.
2016, English, Book edition: Holy! : nine lies, half-truths and outrageous misconceptions about the most radical experience you’ve never lived / Peter Brookshaw and Stephen Court ; foreword by Danielle Strickland. Brookshaw, Peter, (author.)