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Thursday, October 11, 2012

1,000 Days review

Book Description

An opportunity to meet Jesus Christ like never before.

Have you ever thought that when Jesus Christ came to earth more than two thousand years ago, he could have simply given us salvation—period!—and never done another single thing? Jesus Christ could have chosen to be born of a virgin, live for 33 years in relative obscurity, die on the cross, be buried, and rise from the dead three days later, and still give us the opportunity for salvation without doing any of the things we read about in the gospels.

Yet there was more.

For three years—roughly 1,000 days—Jesus served in public ministry while on earth. He didn’t need to do this ministry, yet he did anyway, and that’s the key for us. This intentionality implies that there is a lot of information in Scripture that we need to grapple with. We need to understand what Jesus said and did during his 1,000-day public ministry, so we can apply his teachings to our lives today.
What makes these 1000 days of Christ so vitally important?
Jesus’ public ministry was to help us understand what true love is all about—both for God and for other people. When we love God and others first, the rest of life falls into place: our possessions, our ambitions, our hopes and our dreams. Jesus modeled everything he taught, and his invitation is to make his mission our mission too.

My Review:

Falwell's book covers the roughly 1,000 days of Jesus ministry here on this earth in 15 short chapters with titles such as:  Jesus Close-Up,  The Way of Radical Love, When Temptation Meets Endurance, and Beyond Hype to name a few.  The chapters include a short "modern day" story, references to one of Jesus teachings, and Falwell's explaination of what is going on, as well as reflection questions.  In addition a Bible Study guide and a list of 100 "events" in Jesus life.

I have to be honest in that I was not a fan of the Jonathan Falwell's father, Reverend Jerry Falwell.  I decided to read this book based upon the recomendation of a friend's opinion of Jonathan Falwell's preaching.  Also, along the honesty line, this book was not what I had expected after reading the description.  I had though that it would be more about Jesus life and less of a "lesson" type book. 

While this does include many highlights of Jesus life I didn't feel like "Falwell persents the unique chance to study this miracle, looking closely at those last three years in Jesus' life and revealing vital information from the gospels for our lives today."  I didn't "meet Jesus like never before" as the dust jacket claimed I would.  I felt like it was more about what Falwell could tell me about Jesus than actually about Jesus. 

In addition I felt as if Falwell included many of the original Greek words in his text unnecessarily, and at times I really felt he stretched his explainations of them.  For example when discussing Matthew 5:8 (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.) He tells us that the Greek word for see is optanomai.  "It simply means "see."  It's hard to elaborate on that definition.  The word optanomai is the root of our English word optimal.  So Jesus was saying that the pure in heart...will have an optimal view of God." (p. 46)  Really?  So the word "see" means "see" and he takes a leap and tells us that because optimal has the same root word it is interchangeable.  These words are doublets, and not all doublets (words with a common root in the same language) are interchangeable.  (an example is entire and integer both from the Latin word integrum meaning whole)  Another example is on page 56 where we are told the Greek word translated as peace means peace.  Falwell seems to give up the idea of showing off his knowledge (or access to Strong's Concordance) early in the book though as it doesn't continue throughout. 

I found the writing dull at times, and some of the story connections were weak.  It wasn't a book I enjoyed reading, nor was it one I felt I learned from.  However, for those who like his style, don't let that deter you.  He does a good job of including scripture to support his thoughts and obviously has a sincere heart for God.  Unfortunately his style just wasn't for me.

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