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Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel Paperback – January 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (January 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060642831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060642839
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Real Jesus made Luke Timothy Johnson famous as the leading debunker of the historical-Jesus movement. In Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel, Johnson makes a more constructive presentation--a meditative and scriptural explanation of his understanding of the real Jesus. "The most important question concerning Jesus," according to Johnson, is "Do we think he is dead or alive?" The book begins offering its own answer to that question with an enthusiastic essay on the resurrection, which culminates with another question: "How does Jesus now find continuing embodiment as life-giving Spirit? As all-powerful Lord, in any fashion he chooses!" Johnson describes a Jesus who is living all around us, in the canon, creed, sacraments, lives of the saints, and elsewhere. Johnson then provides readings of each gospel, Acts, Paul's epistles, and Revelation to give his arguments scriptural mooring. The Real Jesus rambles a bit--at times, it reads suspiciously like class lecture notes--but it's got a good heart. The book's goal is to wake readers up so they can live in the truth, "so that we might become living texts speaking Jesus in the world--saints from whom others also might learn Jesus." --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Johnson (The Real Jesus), the Jesus Seminar's thorn in the flesh, presents the rich spirituality of the Gospels. Johnson argues that, according to his reading of the Gospels, Jesus is not a dead, historical figure but a living character in believers' lives. He asserts that the true purpose of the New Testament is to show Christians how to model their lives on Jesus' life. Johnson's book is divided into two complementary parts. In part one, Johnson contends that to be a Christian means to claim that Jesus is life-giving Spirit, to live according to Jesus' words and works and to bear witness, as Jesus did, to the reality of God. Part two engages in a close reading of the Gospels, noting that each Gospel's specific way of shaping its community's memories of Jesus is affected by the author's perceptions of his readers' situation. Although each Gospel provides a different perspective on Jesus, Johnson says, the same living figure is recognizable in the varied portraits. Refusing to be taken in by what he perceives as the deadening effects of the historical criticism of the Gospels, Johnson offers a spiritual reading that, in his mind, gives the only true access to the Jesus of authentic Christian faith.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Luke Timothy Johnson handles the subject with great reverence, and yet with piercing analysis.
KENNETH DEMSTER
If you want to read a concise, insightful, and compelling summary of (learning) faith in Jesus, this is the book for you!
J. F Joyner
Luke Timothy Johnson does a masterful job at creating a book that engages the reader's mind and heart.
K.H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this book, appropriately enough, over Easter weekend. Like Paul on the road to Damascus, I had an epiphany. After ten years of reading book after book on Christian apologetics (from C.S. Lewis to Josh McDowell), this is THE book that finally allowed me to grasp the concept of, and to believe in, the Resurrection. I now state the Nicene creed in church with conviction, and have found geniune faith in Christ as Living Lord. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Meadows on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
lt johnson is a moderately conservative catholic (in fact an ex-monk) who has written extensively on nt studies. this 203 page book can be read in a few hours and is not bogged down with scholarly jargon. essentially he is putting into perspective the value of historical Jesus studies. lt states that if Jesus is today alive for Christians, how then can we get a reliable picture of Him by using the means by which we study dead people! he has been gently criticised by some including ben witherington and raymond brown for separating the Jesus of history from the Jesus we worship - but i don't think that is the focus of johnson's argument. i think lt is simply pointing out (quite validly) that historical critical studies can give only a limited picture of Jesus. he uses as an interesting example adolf hitler. if we were to perform a study in "historical hitlerology" (attempting to construct a portait using what hitler thought of himself as well as the thoughts of his closest associates), we would indeed come up with a picture of hitler that would be quite different than what we know to be true. i would agree that this comparison is a little oblique, but johnson makes a good point. the first few chapters may seem a little fluffy to some but they move quickly into the meat of the work. all in all, this is a very readable work. not everyone will agree with johnson but all those interested in Jesus studies need to be exposed to his point of view!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By K.H. on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Luke Timothy Johnson does a masterful job at creating a book that engages the reader's mind and heart. Though this book is written from an ex-priest and still retains much Catholic tradition, the Protestant reader can also enjoy and gain insight from this well written text.
This book is not written for the skeptic or the Christian revisionist, like his previous book "The Real Jesus." Instead this material will penetrate the heart of the believer. As he wonderfully points out, "To be a Christian means to assert that Jesus is alive, is indeed life-giving Spirit." This book reminds the Christian that we should be learning from a living Jesus. To often, we look at Jesus as a piece of history. This is a wake-up call to Christians everywhere.
We are to learn from Jesus from great Christians, the church, and the New Testament. I find Dr. Johnson's book to be honest and forthright and appreciated his candor about the church and himself. This is a must read!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By KENNETH DEMSTER on February 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Being of Protestant background, I approached this book with a little caution. However, I found the handling of the subject flawlessly honest and the scholarship behind the writing brilliant. Luke Timothy Johnson handles the subject with great reverence, and yet with piercing analysis. His logic behind his assertations regarding the Living Jesus are not refutable. I found this a refreshing and tremendously illuminating view into a subject I have studied and lived with since my mother took me to Sunday School as an infant. The writer has inspired me to raise my own level of study and expectation into this (for Christians) vital subject, and has given me a new sense of awe for Him, the Great I Am.
Even though I have a BA in English, I found myself pulling out the dictionary several times, and got several lessons on vocabulary and English. This can be either educational or distracting, depending on the motivations and inclinations of the reader. At times I found it educational. other times it seemed distracting. But I do admire the writer's skill and intelligence.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Carson on February 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I write from the perspective of a Protestant Evangelical who has often had misgivings about some of the Catholic literature I've read, but I can say that Luke Timothy Johnson's "Living Jesus" is one of the most Christ-exalting books I have read in many years. Johnson has brought Jesus Christ from the place of cold, hard historical facts (which is where most Catholics and Protestants alike often leave Him) to the place of the living Lord experienced by the early church and whom we can experience today. In the process, Johnson ably points out the fallacies employed by those involved in the quest for the historical Jesus, a quest that seems determine to deny practically every essential truth about Jesus. Though it's easy to see Johnson's Catholic roots in his writing, I encourage my Protestant brothers to read this book. You will find yourself fellowshipping with a true brother in Christ in the pages he has written. This is a book you will read more than once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Hammett on May 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is more or less a sequel to Johnson's REAL JESUS, which exposes the fallacies of many New Testament scholars who enjoy pop culture status on various cable channels by extolling the idea of a "Jesus Movement" that seeks to interpret the gospels from a purely historical perspective. In this articulate, logical, and compelling book, Johnson moves past the arguments of the Jesus Movement and demonstrates how a divinely inspired New Testament focuses on a risen, living Christ. Johnson's book is a dynamic blueprint for understanding Christian living in the twenty-first century. In flowing prose, he shows us the diversity and richness of the gospels that have been seen one-dimensionally for such a long time. Johnson's scholarship is of the highest caliber and is used here to show what is truly at the heart of the Christian tradition.
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