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The Gospel According to Peanuts Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; Anniversary edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664222226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664222222
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In 1965, a 28 year-old pastor named Robert Short turned a popular slide show he'd been presenting while working his way through seminary into a book called The Gospel According to Peanuts using Schulz's characters to explain the Christian faith. He explained that Lucy, in her headstrong impulsiveness, often represents original sin. In the Hound of Heaven chapter, Short shows how Schulz used Snoopy to stand for Christ or ideal Christians. A small Presbyterian publishing house (John Knox) published it in hopes of inspiring some Sunday-school teachers to think outside the box, and, behold, their wish was fulfilled. Over 10 million copies were sold. Thirty-five years later the publisher has issued an anniversary edition....Short demonstrates a broad and deep grasp of Scripture, theology, and popular culture, all without any of the personal narrative that dominate today's religious bestsellers. After reading Short's Gospel, I know less about him than I do about my insurance agent. His only narrative is the gospel: original sin, the wages of sin are death, sin makes us aware of our need for redemption, salvation is entirely a work of grace motivated by divine love. --From Beliefnet

About the Author

Robert L. Short is perhaps best known for his first book, The Gospel according to Peanuts, which was lauded by The New York Times Book Review as "a 'perilous experiment' that comes off and earned the "admiration and respect of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he regularly traveled and preached throughout the country, presenting programs in Christian faith and the arts at churches and colleges. His other books include Something to Believe In, The Gospel According to Dogs, and The Parables of Dr. Seuss.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting read.
Charlene Washburn
I decided to read this book after several readings of a very dog-eared copy of "Parables of Peanuts" that I have had since my childhood.
Andrew Wyllie
You can't pretend to be good and get to heaven, Short reminds us.
Daniel Jolley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Robert Short's The Gospel According To Peanuts is a timeless classic of religious insight based on the enduring legacy of the late Charles Shultz, creator of the Peanuts newspaper comic strip. Short examines the religious content of Schultz's beloved little universe of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, and the rest to reveal, from a Christian perspective, the prophetic and theologic meanings manifested by these charming and universally known cartoon characters that became pop culture icons the whole world over. The Gospel According To Peanuts is highly recommended reading all Schultz fans and anyone who has ever noted the enduring wisdom embedded and embraced by the little folks who inhabited his daily and Sunday cartoon stories.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Reed Siebenthal on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
In contrast to an earlier reviewer, I see sound theology here. Mr. Short never says that everyone will be saved regardless of their actions or beliefs; he clearly expresses the true Gospel - that one must be saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone. With that out of the way, this is both a solid statement of the Good News of atonement through Jesus' sacrifice but also an entertaining and novel way to illustrate its principles. While some may be put off by the expressions "Good grief!" "Auuuggghhh!" and the like, they represent our reactions to life and show that we all struggle daily. Even the Apostle Paul said that he "die(d) daily" in his struggle with the sin of daily living. The late Charles Schulz (whether intentionally or not) reflects through his Peanuts gang this struggle and the joys that can be experienced if we pursue them, in our case through a true faith in Jesus Christ! God bless Charles Schulz!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Gospel According to Peanuts is a truly fascinating little book filled with insight, wisdom, and the type of joy that Christians should naturally espouse. Robert L. Short certainly does not argue that every single Peanuts cartoon carries a theological message, but he offers up an amazing selection of comic strips that do in fact encapsulate a number of important Christian beliefs. He begins the book with a justification for Christians embracing the arts as a means of spreading the Gospel to those around them. The fact that Charles Schulz himself was a Christian is, in a sense, immaterial; as Short argues, Christians should embrace all manner of things which will allow them to connect with others in a subtle and less holier-than-thou manner. You can't go around beating people over the head with God and get results, no matter how good your intentions. Engage them in the arts or some other object of mutual interest, and you open up innumerable outlets for Christian witnessing. For those who would scoff at the notion of linking Christianity with comedy, Short reminds us that, to the world, Christianity is itself rather comical. It is a wonderful argument that offers up much food for thought.
In the same vein as the parables of Jesus, Short makes use of dozens of Peanuts comic strips to shed light on a clear and understandable theology, finding many illustrative parallels in the lives of the Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown, in a very real sense, represents Everyman, a jolly good fellow who is always looking for something to improve a life that is, by and large, rather miserable - he never wins, just as mankind, on its own, never wins. Charlie Brown is also prone to moments of great anxiety, a fear of nothingness and emptiness.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Vince Lavieri on June 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first book of theology that I ever read - and what a great introduction to theology! Short pulls out the theology of love and grace, the very human-ness of Christian faith (rightly understood), from the cartoon Peanuts, written by the unique Charles Schultz. This is actually the best introduction to real Christian theology that is available. Tillich, Kierkegaard, Niebuhr, Luther, Kafka, T. S. Eliot, and Karl Barth are only of the people you'll encounter in this splendid summary of essential Christian thought. I have valued this book for years, from when I first read it in high school to when I gave it as a gift to a lay minister in the diocese that I serve when I was consecrated as a bishop. Of all the dull and boring books of theology out there, this one is fun, and one of the best ever!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book in a church Library and fell in love with it. the more I read the more I realize Short's Excelent perception on human nature and Christianity. I was especially fond of the titles of the chapters including: "The Wages of Sin is "Aaaughh"", and "Good Grief". These Titles and the titles of the book however are going to be offencive to some Fundimentalist Christians. That is a shame because if they read this book they would see how good of an evangelical tool it could be. I hope anyone struggling with their own faith could read this book. It really Pokes fun at human nature.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's been many years since I first picked up this book. I love the way Robert L. Short juxtaposes Christian values with scenes from life in the world according to Peanuts. I always saw the little Peanut strips with Lucy, Linus, Charlie, Snoopy and the others as parables, really, rich with life lessons and deeper meaning. I was so glad to see that someone else saw that, too, and wrote a book, writing in detail, where this symbolism was found, and how it could be connected to the teachings of the Bible.

Though, I am not Christian, I believe that the messages about sin, life, love, envy and the other streams of emotions that these little characters, wise beyond their years, go through, as children, together, really speak volumes about the struggle of humankind. Every character is rich with symbolism about the plight of humankind, and, even Snoopy the Dog struggles with the same level of self doubt, anger, resentment and discouragement that his human counterparts must endure as part of the universal struggle. Great book!!! It has definitely stood the test of time. I highly reccomend it.
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