Jesus stood up. That’s an amazing thing, conjuring a physical reality and strength we can all marvel at. Yet, so often we overlook the God-Man to see various who, what, and hows that make us more comfortable. That’s a shame and the book, Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up: 12 False Christs, is an excellent antidote for all of our own fallen perceptions and tendencies.
Pastor Matthew Richard has done an excellent job laying out 12 perspectives of Christ that creep into our thoughts and cultural assumptions. These aren’t just 12 innocent missteps, but powerful, persuasive, prowling lies eager to turn us away from Scripture and the revelation God has given to us.
This is a well-written book set up as either a read alone with reflection questions or a group/Bible study setting. There is a leader’s guide in the back and questions following each chapter.
For the most part, I really appreciated the use of textboxes to include additional information about topics, expressions, and related material.
One highlight of the book was the tremendous care in the first chapter not to demonize someone who was falling for less-than-the-truth. Remember that for the following chapters and years to come! These are all people for whom Christ died, as are all people we encounter through our days!
I do wonder if a single Sunday Bible class might contain proponents of each of the 12 impersonations! So, um, that makes me both a little squirmy and very grateful that this book was written, both for people recognizing the struggle to let Jesus be Jesus as the Bible presents Him and for church workers who benefit from reading succinct summaries with a few conversation steps forward to keep in mind.
Meanwhile, as a homeschooler, I wonder at what age my kids could read this. Part of me even thinks this could be a really good follow-up to confirmation or a congregational gift for those entering high school. By college, so many assumptions are swimming around in heads!
I’m thankful for this book and can happily recommend it!