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Banned Questions About Jesus Paperback – June 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He serves as the Director of Church Growth and Development at First Christian Church in Portland, OR. Christian is the creator and editor of the Banned Questions book series, which also includes Banned Questions About the Bible and Banned Questions About Christians. He co-created and co-edits the "WTF: Where's the Faith?" young adult series with Chalice Press, and has published a memoir on faith, family and parenting called PregMancy: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

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Product Details

  • Series: Banned Questions
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827202695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827202696
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
' Christian Piatt has assembled a useful, accessible, daring and helpful guide and discussion-starter in his "Banned Questions about Jesus" project. The book contains 50 rather random but significant questions about Jesus, his life and message, and provides suggested and well reasoned answers from a diverse panel of thinkers.

Though designed as a book that might be used in a college or Sunday-School class, I found it a rather fascinating read-through. The staff of commentators represent diverse but well-thought-out opinions and the the book is peppered with hip and interesting little quotes from sources as diverse as "The Life of Brian."

A potential reader might be curious about bias, and the book slants intellectual and liberal as might be expected from the title. That being said, within that framework, the opinions are quite diverse and represent everything from what might be considered "moderate evangelical" to "classical liberal" and even "progressive" as well as "none-of-the-above."

This book is a refreshing contribution that needed to be written - so much that is out there seems so watered-down and canned. This book will encourage thought and a serious faith.

The last pages of the book contain a sort-of "God personality survey" which allows the reader(s) to engage in a hands-on exploration of his/her image of God and thus themselves. A nice final touch is that all the contributors took the test and provided their scores for comparison. I love this idea of full disclosure. Honesty man! But seriously, this book was right down my alley as Psychology Professor, Sunday School teacher, and father of a teenager. Highly recommended.
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Overall, the book was good. I thoroughly appreciated the fresh new insight it offered. And, these insights certainly made for an interesting read. But, if one is looking for scholarly input then this book will disappoint. Most (not all) of the answers provided in this book come from everyday people like you and me. Although I did recognize a few names of those who have a seminary/teaching background. Nevertheless, one does not have to be a scholar to know Jesus. And, it's good to hear fresh perspectives from those who think differently from me. But, when providing tough answers to tough questions, especially relating to the deity of Christ (the central figure of Christianity), it's good to hear from those who have done thorough research in this field of study. Lastly, most of the answers to these good questions have a liberal slant to them. Not that liberal is bad, for I myself am liberal in most part. But, this makes the book quite imbalanced. It would have been nice to have some conservative commentary as well. This also makes it difficult to read other books by this author if he is known to only provide liberal theological views. Nevertheless, there was some new and fresh insight on topics that I have never thought of before and much of it I appreciated. But, in most part I felt the Jesus that was painted in this book was more human than God, and certainly less divine. I will likely not rush out to buy another book by Piatt. But, I will certainly not avoid reading one should it fall into my lap.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace... only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us".
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Format: Paperback
Faith is defined in Hebrews 11 as "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." We take a lot of things by faith, including the existence of God. But while faith deals with things unseen, that doesn't mean that there are not questions to be asked and pursued, which is, I think the point made by Augustine and Anselm, who spoke of "faith seeking understanding." They devoted their lives to exploring the intricacies of faith and that meant asking questions, even difficult questions. The Scholastic Method that dominated medieval theology always began with questions, to which answers were offered, and those answers became the fodder for further discussion and exploration. Perhaps the methodology of Thomas Aquinas stands behind Chalice Press's Banned Questions Series, which is edited by Christian Piatt. It is an acknowledgment that we need to have a place and resources to wrestle with the things of faith.

In this book, which focuses on questions concerning Jesus, Piatt and friends follow the same format first used in the book Banned Questions of the Bible. A question is posed and several possible answers are provided. Some questions receive more responses than others, but generally there are three to four answers. In addition there are lists of Scripture references, suggestions for further reading, followed by questions that can be used for personal contemplation or even better group discussion. Being that this is a rather creative team, the fifty questions/answers are followed by a section wherein the contributors introduce themselves.
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