Monday, June 17, 2013

You can’t judge a book by its cover…

This old adage was never truer.  When I first saw the cover and title of this month’s book, it immediately conjured up vampires, teenage angst and undying love – I think you can guess which teen saga I am thinking of.

Nevertheless, I was lured in by the subtitle – ‘”How Christ’s final day changes your everyday”.  In the opening line of his book, author Mike McKinley poses a question to every Christian and would-be believer– What difference does the cross of Jesus Christ make to the way you live? 

McKinley says although Christians hold that Jesus’ death on the cross is the central event in human history, we mostly value it in terms of our future - that is it secures our eternal life with God albeit no small thing.  He likens it to a ticket to a Cold Play concert (McKinley actually says football game) that we carry around in our back pocket until we need it.

McKinley challenges that this is too small a view of the cross.   Adding to McKinley’s metaphor in my own clumsy way, it’s like carrying Chris Martin around in your back pocket.

“The cross of Christ is the reality that gives shape to the way Christians should think about every detail of our lives right now, from our marriages to our money, from our suffering to our success.” (p.10)

“The cross of Christ is all we will need, and all we will have, on the last day of this life.  But wonderfully, it’s also all we need for today, and tomorrow, and every day up till that last one.” (p.11)

I liked watching this promotional interview with McKinley where he expresses what he hopes readers will get from his book.

The other thing that drew me to McKinley’s book is that he uses Luke’s narrative.  Having read and re-read Luke’s gospel as preparation for EQUIP13, I have come to appreciate the many details that Luke includes in his account of Jesus’ life and was eager to revisit what Luke recorded about Jesus’ last day on earth.

About our contributor:

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about Jesus (thanks mum and dad).
My story of faith is made up of every day ordinary moments – week by week going to church and Sunday school, and later on Youth group, praying at meals and bedtimes, reading Bible stories… plus a few significant moments.

One such significant moment occurred in 1979 at a Billy Graham Crusade.  Listening to the talk, I realized for the first time that I had to choose for myself to follow Jesus.  It wasn’t about whether my family trusted Jesus but did I.  So, I walked down to the front and gave my life to Jesus.  Later on, I found out my mother was in tears as she watched. 

Now I’m a mum myself – I get teary thinking about my own kids and whether I am doing all I can to make Christ known to them.  When I think about it, it’s all I want for them – that they will humbly bow before the cross of Jesus.

I also can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading.  My father had a study full of bookshelves, every one overflowing with books.  I went from Enid Blyton to Lucy Maud Montgomery to Jane Austen to Alexander McCall Smith….
There are not many genres I don’t like reading – my husband thinks it’s hilarious that I am just as much a fan of Emily Bronte as I am of Tom Clancy.  The thing I’ve always liked about books is that ability to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’.

Theological books have always been a lot harder to read but I have learned to value them and have acquired a taste for them.  So, pretty much there is always a stack of them, half-read, next to my bed.  My faith was formed on classics like JI Packer’s ‘Knowing God’ and Don Carson’s ‘How Long O Lord’.

I am really enjoying reading ‘Passion’ by Mike McKinley and look forward to the challenge of trying to write about it.

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