Tuesday, February 7, 2012
This is a difficult review for me to write. I MUST give this book a four star rating, simply on the basis that it's written by Patrick Henry Reardon, the beloved theologian. But, the book overall, fell short of anything I'd hoped for.
First of all, I do not think this book should be classified under "Spiritual Growth and Christian Thought." It would be better classified under "Theology." The average reader is not going to be able to comprehend the depth of this book. It is written more as a thesis/dissertation. Unless you enjoy reading such writings, this is not the book for you. In addition, I felt that the topic skipped around too much in ways that the reader is not able to fully grasp the point that is being made. Overall, I did not feel like I gleaned much insight into Jesus as a human that I didn't already know. There were certain aspects of the "surrounding" stories in Jesus' life that I learned of details that I was not aware of, but they did not make a difference in how I saw Jesus in His humanity. I don't think I've missed anything, and I'm not sure that most people have either. It is VERY apparent that Jesus was fully man . . . the New Testament is filled with examples of Jesus' emotions and temptations. The confusing part to me is that it doesn't really speak to the real issues that believers/nonbelievers pose: Most people do not have a problem believing in Jesus' humanity . . . it's His Divine nature that causes the issue. The book did not balance this out enough. At times, I felt that Jesus was made "too" human to such an extent that I felt detachment, rather than attachment to Him. As a believer, I want to be assured He was human, but I more so need to be absolutely convinced that He was just as Divine. Without that balance, faith can waver.
Please understand, this is just my opinion. Others may very well understand Jesus in a new way by reading this book . . . I just don't think that we've "missed" that much when it comes to Jesus' humanity. I just didn't feel like this study gave me any more insight into His humanity than what I already knew. Due to the fact that this was written in a very theological tone, I believe most readers will have a VERY difficult time getting through it.
I also wish the ending would have been summed up better. I felt that it left the reader hanging and I would have loved to have read Patrick Henry Reardon's insight and thoughts on the Humanity of Christ along with His Divinity. The book just didn't seem complete.
That being said, I have the utmost respect for Patrick Henry Reardon and I believe this book was as thorough of a study on Jesus' humanity as could possibly be written. I just believe that it needed a balance including His Divinity, especially for unbelievers who are reading.
*I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.
Posted by Cherie Hill at 3:36 PM
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