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Can Any Good Come From Nazareth?: Following From A Distance [Kindle Edition]

Kevin L. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Do you know Jesus? Do you think of him as your friend?

Even though I know many Christians who consider him a friend, I don’t. To be honest, when I read the Gospels carefully, he unsettles me—sometimes a lot. So I ask again, do you really know him? Whether believer or skeptic, many people claim they do. But is this Jesus the one we grew up hearing about, our own imagined Jesus, or the one present in the Gospels? In essays that take a fresh look at sixteen familiar stories, Kevin L. Moore seeks to engage his readers so they can reconsider some of their preconceptions about this man from Nazareth and what he expects of us. This sort of re-examination can be unsettling, but it’s worth the effort, since all we can ever do is follow from a distance.

In Can Any Good Come From Nazareth? New Testament scholar, Dr. Kevin L. Moore, invites us to move past the pages of Scripture and into the three-dimensional world of Jesus where the story began. In this world we understand Jesus in a new light as Moore guides us through some of the most riveting scenes in the Gospels. In writing that is accessible to all, Moore gives his readers an opportunity to reconsider what it means to follow Jesus. - Timothy F. Merrill, Executive Editor, Homiletics"

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin L. Moore has taught in both private and public educational settings. He is also a writer and regular contributor to Homiletics and has written for various publications including Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University. His interests include making connections between the early church and modern faith as well as the intersection of religion and science. He holds a PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology.
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Product Details

  • File Size: 273 KB
  • Print Length: 143 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1449731740
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WestBowPress (February 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085M6B7G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The provocative prophet March 9, 2012
Warning: Only read this book if you are prepared to have your life unsettled. Kevin Moore doesn't find Jesus a particularly comfortable character. Rather in these sixteen short essays he confronts the central question of Christianity: what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus of Nazareth in 21st century America? Drawing on his training in both Biblical studies and science, Moore reflects on four passages from each gospel, relating each to our current life. There is much in our modern culture and way of life that Jesus challenges. After each essay, Moore has prepared a page of questions "for further reflection" which will make excellent starting material for individuals and small groups.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can Any Good Come....from another book about Jesus February 23, 2013
I am a Christian, but I don't like Jesus. Even as a little girl going to church every Sunday, I knew this was one scary character. Dangerous, unpredictable, dismissive, intentionally enigmatic, brooding, capricious, not to mention rude and demanding. They never did a very good job of covering all that up with Sunday School stories, at least not in my opinion. I haven't changed my mind about Jesus, but like the old song says "No turning back/No turning back". I have no idea where the teddy bear Jesus comes from, I just don't see that ANYWHERE in scripture, even as a child--never have. So it is refreshing to finally find a book that doesn't domesticate Jesus and turn Him into something cute. I found the perspectives on many of the familiar Bible stories in these chapters authentic and raw and honest and it was a relief to find an author grappling with Jesus' words and actions in a way that resonates with my own reluctance to follow Jesus from anything closer than a safe distance. On the other hand, I have gradually grown more familiar with the idea of a God that cannot possibly be familiar. It seems to me that being incomprehensible is pretty much a part of the divine job description. I appreciate the old stories told in a new voice, with new questions, framed in a new way, with footnotes like bread crumbs marking the path that the writer has wandered and reflections at the end of each chapter that are composed of questions more than answers. This isn't just another book about Jesus. Thank God.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking "difficult Jesus" head-on March 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this very thought provoking book, but I was confronted by this book as well. I was confronted not only because some of my perceptions of Jesus as he is presented in the gospels were challenged, but I was also confronted as to what my response should be. Let me explain. In these sixteen essays, Moore takes the time to examine portions of the gospel narratives that many of us often gloss over, simply because they are hard to make sense of or are difficult to accept. For example, does Jesus really expect me to hate my family? Does Jesus actually expect me to give away all of my possessions? For many of us, myself included, the response to the difficult sayings of Jesus, is to think, "I'm sure he didn't really mean it that way," because the implications are quite simply frightening and then we just move on. Moore takes a slightly different approach. He takes "difficult Jesus" head-on. He shows how the Jesus of the gospels differs from the "Sunday morning Jesus" that we are comfortable with. This is where it starts to get challenging on a personal level, because as my perception of Jesus changes, my response to him has to change as well. Fortunately for the lay reader such as myself, you don't need to be a theologian to understand the Jesus of the gospel as presented by Moore and you will probably chuckle more than once at the personal stories he relates. Even though you may feel challenged or confronted, you won't feel belittled. Moore does not place himself above the reader, but shares very openly and honestly that he too feels confronted by the Jesus of the gospels. I certainly recommend this book for anyone who is willing to take a closer look at Jesus as he is presented by the gospels and evaluate their own response to him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biblical Imagination! December 3, 2012
Books about Jesus are a dime a dozen these days, and most of them don't really engage the texts of the Gospels. Many scholars and theologians seek to discredit Jesus by casting doubt on the biblical witness. Not Dr. Moore, and I'm grateful. It is apparent that he has biblical imagination in the highest sense, and by that I don't mean fanciful conclusions based on prejudiced presuppositions. He has read and heard the text, engaged in deep thought about its presentation, and seemingly rooted himself in the time and place of Jesus. Most readers of the Gospels are aware of Jesus' invitation to "come, follow me and I will give you rest, my yoke is burden light." These essays don't contradict that claim of Jesus, but they do make the reader reconsider heedless discipleship.

The title of the book recalls Nathaniel's skepticism early in John's Gospel. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" He learned the answer, and did a 180 degree reversal with a verbal explosion of faith. Unbelievable? Almost, except when one encounters Jesus face to face. Moore's book helps us do that to a large extent, even to the point of discomfort. The Gospels reveal much about Jesus, but in the end, there is much we don't know as well. I suspect that is by design. In part, not knowing is what makes us want to follow. Each chapter closes with a familiar refrain, and I will borrow it here. "So...if you would follow this man from Nazareth," this book should help you take that journey.
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