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Everything New: One Philosopher's Search for a God Worth Believing In Paperback – June 15, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Prepare to see God in new ways."  SHANE HIPPS. Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church.  shanehipps.com  

"Jeff Cook offers an honest voice in the midst of too many saying the same thing with subtle, monotonous, meaningless differences ... There's more in this little book than its length indicates. Digest this book."  SCOT McKNIGHT. Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University.

"A creatively written and historically grounded portrait ... Everything New presents Jesus in beautiful and compelling ways."  PRESTON SPRINKLE.
 New York Times Best Selling Author.  prestonsprinkle.com  

About the Author

Jeff Cook teaches philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado. He pastors Atlas Church and lives in Greeley, Colorado with his wife and two sons. You can see his work at: everythingnew.org
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Subversive Books (June 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615602274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615602271
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,180,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book takes a number of approaches to the problem of God-belief in a culture that has made many things about it intellectually and emotionally unsatisfying. I find that the greatest strength here is stepping away from the old standbys of traditional apologetics - arguments that prioritize biblical literalism, disparage the morality of the nonreligious, or try to systematically develop an intellectual framework that carefully sidesteps or weasels around legitimate conflicts within contemporary Christian theology. This may have been effective at one time, but I find more and more that recent work in apologetics invests more in shoring up an increasingly irrelevant religious culture than in developing a compelling case for Christ's teachings.

Cook avoids this trap by tackling the issues that matter directly - how can we believe in a good God in an evil-filled world? How can we find relevance in ancient biblical writings that were authored far before developments in astrophysics and biochemistry started to offer compelling explanations for things like the fate of the universe, or the chemical workings of our motivations and actions?

This book doesn't try to discredit those advancements, or gloss over difficult issues - it makes them the crux of the argument, and offers some novel perspectives that, in my opinion, make it evident exactly how limited the apologetics of the last few decades have really been.

I find Cook's case for why the story of Christ is fundamentally different from all other religious traditions to be the single most important part of this book. The God of Christ is one that takes the symbols of our deepest pain, struggle, and fear and turns them into images of hope and peace, and that is, as he says, "a God worth believing in".
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Format: Paperback
"Everything New" was the second book-length piece I had read by Jeff Cook. The first, Seven, is also worth your consideration if studying the Seven Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes is of interest to you. This later piece by Cook, Everything New, is a favorite of mine in Christian theology, second only to Lewis. I consider this work seminal for my later interest in Christian theology and my further involvement into church life more generally.
Now that it has been re-released, I greatly look forward to getting members of my extended family a copy of the book so that they can share a similar experience.
(Also, listening to the audio version by the author is a great way - I found - in hearing the tone of the work in its intended voice.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jeff Cook is a hot developing author to keep an eye on. I’ve learned from interviews, books and his Twitter feed that he brings fresh perspective to almost everything. He mixes philosophy, history, theology and stories of personal vulnerability together in an always-interesting stir-fry. I highlighted some zingers:

“Some will not die to their infantile selves and opt for resurrection.”

“Christians hold in their hands the most profound sets of insights into the human condition ever composed and yet, despite their numbers and resources, they consistently produce the most lack luster art, literature and political thought available in popular circles.”

“I find the “Christian Living” section of the local bookstore—with a few noteworthy exceptions—a disheartening place where good brains go to die.”

“American Christianity gave me no good reason to think it was true, beautiful, or good. In fact, I found the converse. This community, on the whole, continues to produce below average ideas, suggesting below average insights about its extra-ordinary God.”

“Crosses were the nuclear weapon of the ancient world. Crosses communicated to everyone that the violent, the brutally ambitious, and the merciless reign over the earth.”

“There are good reasons to think that Jesus was poor and that his father had died somewhere between Jesus’ 13th and 34th birthday. First, his family lived first in Nazareth and later Capernaum; as such they did not live in Bethlehem where Joseph’s ancestors had once owned property. Not owning property explains why Jesus’ father worked as a carpenter.

“Joseph did not work as a “farmer” on his own land. Instead he built goods for other people where he could find work.
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Format: Paperback
Jeff Cook writes a fascinating little book about the nature of God, belief and faith as told through ideas of heaven and hell. In it, he combines the very best of academic training as a philosopher and the practical nature of his vocation as pastor. So there's historical context, but not at the expense of theological grounding. And there's application to modern life, but with a long historical and contextual lens. Most importantly, if you read carefully, you begin to see how this one idea, that God makes everything new, can open up an entirely unique and important conversation about God.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book uplifting and inspiring during a dark and confusing time. The ideas cook shares in this piece were the catalyst for my return to a relationship with Christ. I remember feeling elated while reading this because I, for the first time, didn't feel alone in the ways in which I believed in a loving God. This book gave me a sense of community and hope. I shed a few tears, and had some great laughs! A friend gave me my copy, and I gave that to another friend, now that it has been rereleased, I'll be purchasing another! "Everything New" makes a fabulous gift, it is worthy of your time, and a permanent home on your bookshelf.
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