Full disclosure: I chased down Jared four years ago as I
read the Thinklings blog and marveled at his wit, intellect and erudition. We
met at a Thinklings dinner in Christmas of that year, and later I hired him to
work for Docent Research Group. Jared excels at this work! Additionally this year he
co-authored/ghostwrote books for Docent clients who are two of the most prominent pastors in the
country. He is gold.
Lastly, in this vein of disclosure, he mentioned me in the
acknowledgements of Your Jesus Is Too
Safe. In truth I did nothing for him or this book other than articulate the
envy that seizes me when I read his stuff.
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Things to love about Your Jesus Is Too Safe, by Jared
1. Jared marshals top flight biblical scholarship, owns it,
and makes it digestible.
2. He slings the slang with the best of 'em. His paraphrases provoke the mind and
make it itch…they compel me to look afresh at biblical texts and living Jesus'
teachings in my life today.
3. Jared is funny. Page after page. Often a chuckle, at times laugh out loud funny.
4. The focus, intensely, is on Jesus.
You put all these 'things to love' together, and you get taken
for a ride that is at turns illuminating, powerfully challenging, hilarious and
Jared takes twelve snapshots of Jesus—the Prophet, the
Forgiver, the Judge, the Redeemer, etc.—and contrasts these biblical snapshots
with ancient and contemporary distortions of Jesus. To the degree that my de
facto perspective of Jesus was more in accord with therapeutic, consumer
culture, to that degree Jared's vivid portrayal of Jesus in Scripture caused
One might see this book as a tireless subversion of any place
of comfort or rest that is not Jesus. The biggest target in this book is
religion. Jared depicts in these twelve snapshots that Jesus is the implacable
foe of religion (particularly 'Christian' forms of religion), because religion invariably allows you to rest in or trust in
your own goodness, or the form of a ritual, or an object, or a community. While
the Church is an community seeking the goodness of God and employs rituals and
objects (the Bible is an object; Lord's Supper elements are objects), we can
come to neglect the point of these—Jesus.
Even better that ripping to shreds our hearts' continual
efforts to find life and rest and peace in people and things other than Jesus
is Jared's portrayal of the goodness, grace, joy and rest found in Jesus. Jesus is why it's not safe or enjoyable to rest in other things.
I highly recommend Your Jesus Is Too Safe, particularly for
twenty- and thirty-somethings, but also high school students. Jared speaks this language, and expresses vital truths in a compelling way that cut through youth culture clutter. If you want to
get thicker in your knowledge of Jesus and stronger in following Him, read
this. And if you know young adult Christians who are a mile wide and an inch
deep, invite them to read this with you. If the discussions are even half as
provocative and enticing as Jared's book, you will see the fruit of the dangerous Jesus appear in their
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Info about the author: