"Reading The Other Jesus
is a bit like clearing the mud from your eyes and seeing our Lord and Savior again for the first time." Chris Seay, senior pastor, Ecclesia, and author of The Gospel according to Jesus
"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
The Other Jesus
is the culmination of my fifteen-year journey back to faith after many more years outside the Christian tradition. I've written spiritual autobiography telling the story of that journey (Crossing Myself
and No Idea
) and a number of books on how I felt literature and culture communicating the presence of the Divine even in my darkest hours. I've written around the edges of faith; The Other Jesus
takes all these lessons and tries to confront head on the challenges and possibilities of 21st Century Christianity.
People outside the faith are developing an overwhelmingly negative view of Christian faith, and while I have nothing but scorn for current attempts to focus-group faith, I cite a number of leaders of the Church who agree that these negatives often reflect our failure to live out the authentic message of Jesus. Ironically, people who know of Jesus but do not follow him can remind us what it is we are supposed to be doing. I want to reject cultural visions of Jesus and the resulting Christian faith for the Jesus who healed and fed, who reached out to the marginalized, and who said that all the commandments could be summed up in the need to love God and love our neighbors.
In The Other Jesus, I tell stories, ask hard questions, and propose possible ways forward. In various chapters, I explore how we can pay attention to the Bible in a way that is both faithful and authentic; I suggest that the ancient wisdom traditions of Christianity can give us strength and courage today; I consider some harmful contemporary beliefs and some damaging real-life implications of pursuing them; and I argue for interfaith relations based on living out our faith instead of denying it.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, says that The Other Jesus "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." Certainly this was my hope in writing; my life has been transformed by an encounter with Christ, and I believe that encounter can be life-changing and life-giving for you as well. Please join me for conversation about what it might look like if we trained our vision on the Other Jesus and tried to follow him faithfully into a life of service, compassion, and love.