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The Other Jesus: Rejecting a Religion of Fear for the God of Love Paperback – February 15, 2011
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"Garrett demonstrates an uncanny ability to make the complex, clear. His new book brings the good and glad news alive." The Rev. Dr. Roger A. Paynter, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
"Clear, provocative, and sympathetic, this book opens fresh windows for the imagination and fresh perspectives on the figure of Jesus as the one on whom all our human hopes for joy and reconciliation can converge." Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
"With all the customary grace and conversational style his readers have come to expect, Greg Garrett delivers again. Powerfully persuasive and a delight for the mind and soul to consider." Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence and The Divine Hours.
"Greg Garrett is both a gifted writer and a deeply thoughtful follower of Christ. Whenever I read his work, I find a rare and moving mix of honesty--sometimes painful honesty--and tested hope, each made more vulnerable by the other." Brian D. McLaren, pastor, activist, and author of A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus
From the Author
More About the Author
His most recent novel was The Prodigal (2013, written with the legendary Brennan Manning), which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. His first novel, Free Bird, was chosen by Publishers Weekly and the Denver Rocky Mountain News as one of the top debuts of 2002. His other novels are Cycling and Shame. All have been critically acclaimed.
BBC Radio has called Greg "one of America's leading voices on religion and culture," and he has written on such topics as spirituality and suffering, film and pop culture, U2, Harry Potter, faith and politics, and contemporary Christianity. Greg's work has been covered by The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, BBC Radio, BBC Scotland, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, msnbc.com, The Bob Edwards Show, The New Statesman, The National Review, Poets & Writers, Commonweal, Mens Health, and many other broadcast, print, and web media sources. Greg has written for Patheos, The Huffington Post, OnFaith, Salon.com, The Washington Post, Reform, The Tablet, and other print and web publications in the US and UK, and has spoken at venues across the US and Europe, including the American Library in Paris, Cambridge University, Kings College in London, Villanova University, and the Washington National Cathedral.
Greg is Professor of English and the 2013 Baylor Centennial Professor at Baylor University, where he has taught since 1989. He also serves as Writer in Residence at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and as Residential Scholar at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, Wales. Greg is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. He is also a Fellow of the Cathedral College of Preachers at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and a licensed lay preacher based at St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife Jeanie and their family.
Top Customer Reviews
Garrett is an extremely knowledgeable Christian who draws on thinking from a wide variety of sources and integrates ideas into a Christian perspective that he communicates with clarity. I appreciated that Garrett provided book recommendations at the end of each chapter for readers who want to go deeper. Although I didn't agree with everything Garrett wrote, I learned and grew as a Christian from reading this book.
Finally, as another reviewer noted, Garrett's frustration comes through with churches he has experienced as judgmental and hypocritical. Research by the Barna Organization and others clearly establishes that many churches today are perceived in these ways because they are falling short of Jesus' commands to develop disciples who have a profound love of the Lord and of other people. Garrett's comments in one instance get a bit too specific and it would have been better to communicate his criticisms privately to these churches rather than in a book that names their denomination and geographic location. (TMI "Too Much Information" as my teenage daughters would say.) Let's not forget that Garrett is human, like the rest of us. Don't dismiss this book on this basis because it's a very small part of a book that overall glorifies God and reflects the love and humility of Jesus.
In summary, The Other Jesus is well worth reading.Read more ›
He starts off by offending me and all but a few hundred Christians in Waco, by saying that in Waco "you might indeed set foot in a dozen extremely conservative Southern Baptist churches before finding a Baptist church that imagines people on a quest to work alongside God in the healing of creation," then goes on to name three churches that pass muster for him, churches where "you could begin a spiritual journey that would be meaningful and lifelong and not revolve purely around your answering an altar call to claim your salvation once and for all."
This sets the tone for the book: most Christians and most churches, especially those of more conservative persuasions, are myopic and insular. Most American Christians exemplify "a shortsighted focus on individual salvation, a disengagement from the world, a fear or hatred of those who differ from them." I know there are plenty of Christians out there who obsess over end-times, and who think that praying the sinner's prayer is all there is to the Christian life, but in my experience, including my experiences in a number of terrific Waco churches, that is not the norm.
Garrett rightly calls Christians to be more engaged with the world and more open to learning from traditions other than their own, even non-Christian traditions.Read more ›