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The Gospel of Simon Paperback – September 6, 2016
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"The book’s simple and eloquent prose invites the reader to read it deeply with an open mind and heart . For me as a social justice activist and scholar, what moved me the most is Smelcer’s emphasis, with much simplicity, on how our spirituality or faith can be a force for justice in the world . The Gospel of Simon is a spiritual gift, and I am grateful to John Smelcer for writing it." -- Tikkun, review by Victor Narro
"John Smelcer generates a contrapuntal dialog as witness to the untold story of Simon . Smelcer’s tale does not come across as sermonizing, but as an internal dialog wherein he finds himself asking and answering without being disingenuous the same questions even the most devout will ask of themselves . Smelcer makes no claim that Christianity is the only way to heaven, which leaves the doors open to a place for all the world’s major religions. Thus the great number of religious leaders and thinkers who have read and offered their comments about the book and its civility . In showing us a man who answered the call, [Smelcer] also shows us there is a righteous, if not religious, path forward, if only we allow ourselves to take it." -- Ragazine
"Smelcer's skillful use of narrative gradually builds in readers a sense of the life-altering understanding and new confidence Simon gains. Smelcer's dialogue in this narrative mirrors the markers of disunity disrupting many facets of our contemporary lives . This type of book is overdue in Christian literature, and presents a life-changing narrative for those who've lost their faith, for those who are disgusted with the religious attitudes of some, or those who are looking for an encounter with something or someone greater than themselves." -- Alaska Dispatch News
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Top Customer Reviews
Smelcer has done a masterful job of making Jesus' message accessible. He brings in issues that are in the news now. Politics and religion, the two areas we are taught are too volatile to discuss in social situations, are discussed honestly and bravely. The story cuts through our cultural barriers of religion, politics, power and greed to the basic universal message of love and compassion for mankind. It reinforces fundamentals of Jesus’ message, without the human constructs that distract us.
It is a book about love, mercy, compassion and kindness. In these universal messages it crosses Christian boundaries and touches us all, regardless of our religious or political leanings. The Dalai Lama is quoted on the back of the book and he points out the similarities in the messages of Christianity and Buddhism. I believe the message transcends any religion or point of view because it is universally evident that love and compassion is the way.
The book has well deserved praise on the cover and back from some amazing people. I recommend this book highly. So much is packed in such a small package. Read this in a day and then practice it’s message. If we all do this, the world will be a better place.
In The Gospel of Simon, John Smelcer realizes Simon of Cyrene's story in the form of a vision from Christ after the crucifixion. Though it takes place over two thousand years ago, the questions Simon asks could have been asked this morning. And the answers Christ gives in the vision are balm to the contemporary ear.
The Gospel of Simon compels us in realistic and accessible prose to set aside religious division and take up the revolution Christ originally started...a revolution driven by love. It confirms and reminds us of what has always been true in Christ's doctrine--that love for God and our fellow man is more important than religion. Given the current political climate and global issues we face as a species, nothing could be more relevant.
This book belongs on the shelves of every church library. And if you're a person still searching for God, but finding it difficult to continue that search within the confines of religious institutions, then now might be the time for you to read The Gospel of Simon.