Have you ever wondered the many answers to the questions regarding the life we live, especially if the life you strive for, is a life dedicated to the teachings and sacrifices of our Lord Jesus. If so then this book is for you, Jesus-Shock is a small book in stature, but it packs a powerful punch in knowledge. A book written by Peter Kreeft, he challenges you to see the perspective of Jesus through the worlds eyes. Asking “Why is Jesus the most controversial and the most embarrassing name in the world?” And at the same time Peter’s mission is to make you understand that the answer to all is Jesus.
Mr. Kreeft starts out by asking you, the reader, thirty five questions. As you read these questions, you will notice the variety of answers you will give. Towards the end of the questions you will start realizing that all of them had one true answer to them. Making you realize and think how wrong you have been in your quest for a better way of living on this earth. I will not give you the answer, you should read and learn from the book. If you’ve been paying attention up to this point, then you should know the answer by now, without hesitation.
I highly recommend reading this book, once you pick it up and start reading, you will not be disappointed. Im telling you, it will take days for you to finish, if not a week. Believe me once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down. Finally if your purpose in life is to get a better understanding of Christ, then by all means this book is for you. It answered my questions and also helped me open my eyes a little bit more. Im positive it will do the same for you.
Kreeft, Peter. Jesus-Shock. South Bend: St. Augustine Press, 2008.
Peter Kreeft is an author of many works in Philosophy and theology. He teaches philosophy at Boston College.
The book is about the difference Jesus makes in a person’s life when confronted by him, Kreeft calls “Jesus-Shock”. Kreeft throughout 6 chapters or Parts explains the reason for writing the book, and why it needed to be written. The book of course is about Jesus, and about many of the important questions about what Jesus did or didn’t do to people. Kreeft says, “The question is this, why is Jesus the most controversial and the most embarrassing name in the world?” He says, “No one is embarrassed if you talk about any other religious leader, Buddha, Muhammad etc.”(1). But when Jesus’ name is mentioned it causes people to become uncomfortable, they freeze especially for Christians. Following his reasons for the book he asks the reader to take a “self-test” (6). 35 questions in all (which I personally failed) he says if you made incorrect answers you need his book. I agree! He doesn’t stop at one test he has a second test and third test, to test your knowledge and the need for his book. (24). (I passed this one.) There is a third test about the reformation. (You will have to read the book for these questions.) Kreeft also gives his reason for writing the book, he says “it was an answer to prayer, and since he had written over 40 books, this one was going to be about Jesus, who does answer the questions of life. “He is the Golden Key” as he put it (32). For him, If Jesus is the Golden Key then things in life are not the same they should change, there should be big changes in your life God is not boring, but churches can be. For Kreeft, “Jesus-Shock” is the opposite of boredom; he says that Jesus never bored anyone; In the Scriptures “the word to describe everyone’s reaction to Jesus is thauma, “wonder.” This was the reaction of his enemies, disciples, those who killed him…” and it should be every Christians. “Jesus-Shock” should break your heart in two and force you to choose which half of your heart you will follow” (41). Boredom he says is a part of the Christian and the human dilemma which gets him into trouble, but when Jesus shows up He is joy and it cures boredinitis in other words “Jesus is God’s supreme surprise!”(46). He is never boring He is “beautiful” and he should be “adored.” Part three, “Jesus-Shock in the Gospels” here Kreeft has organized from the mildest to the strongest Jesus’ teachings, and the shock of his words which he says, “is the most important of all, it is what everything rest upon,” Kreeft writes “Shock of Jesus’ claims as the healer, the I Am, the shock over death, etc. should shock a person. He says to read the Gospels as if you were going on a hunting expedition” with awe and fresh eyes. (71-97). Part four, “The Foundation: Real Presence “Kreeft gives both protestant and Catholic views on “Real Presence,” For the Protestant or Evangelical “real presence” means Christ as their personal Lord and Savior for the Catholic the Eucharist. For Kreeft this means the protestant is incomplete. Kreeft says The “Real Presence” is perhaps the most controversial of Catholic doctrines. It generated the most controversy and passion and ire and war at the time of the Reformation” To this day it continues to be discussed. (101-103). Throughout the remainder of the book Kreeft gives you his personal reasons, views and choice for Catholicism and the Eucharist. Therefore, Kreeft challenges the church whether Protestant, Catholic and Evangelical to re-fire to love, adore and worship the Christ. At the completion of the book Kreeft ends with a final postscript.
The test about one’s worldview at the beginning of the book was unique it caused an interest to continue to read further. His thoughts on modern Christianity were very good, yet thought provoking. Throughout the book Kreeft is apparently concerned for the churches welfare and rightly so, the church has according to his stats has grown cold and unresponsive. He does a great job about re-firing through awareness. His views on Protestantism, and Catholicism were enlightening his discussions on the various doctrines using church history, philosophy and Scripture was very good, though he did encourage Protestants to Catholicism. However, Kreeft articulated and with a great passion reintroduces us to Jesus’ real presence not only in the lives of Christians, Eucharist and Holy Communion, but the person of Jesus, who he is, what he does and what he does for the Christian making him come alive again in the eyes of the believer! Those who are bored with life and church as usual should read this book.
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