You know the old saw: God created humans in his own image, and we have spent ages returning the favor. How ironic that Jesus, who came to transform us, has so many followers intent on remaking him into a more congenial idol. At first we dressed him in a royal robe and placed a crown upon his head—before nailing him to a cross. Today we continue to downgrade the original Jesus into someone less threatening and demanding.
In The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is (Baker), Daniel Darling takes aim at a score of popular but fake saviors: “Guru Jesus,” “Red-Letter Jesus,” “Braveheart Jesus,” “Dr. Phil Jesus,” “Prosperity Jesus,” and more. No matter how confidently you proclaim fidelity to biblical teaching, this book will snag you with at least one of its pseudo-Christs. In his usually gentle, sometimes funny, always astute skewering of trendy myths about our Lord, Darling (vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) vindicates a key insight of one of his theological heroes, John Calvin. The Genevan Reformer said that idolatry is our root sin and that the human imagination is an idol factory. Clear biblical thinking casts down our self-fabricated godlets. That’s what Darling does.
This book makes helpful reading for anyone willing to have his or her understanding of Christ critiqued and corrected. Church study groups, if they dared, would find the short, fast-paced, hard-hitting chapters great catalysts for debate. At various points I reacted with, “Hey, I really like worshiping that Jesus. I’ve been personally blessed by that Jesus. How dare you?” ...1