I just finished a book that I’ve been reading for more than a year: The Jesus Driven Life by Michael Hardin, an independent scholar, founder and director of Preaching Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to what the title suggests. The clever title suggested to me that it might be an Anabaptist alternative to the best-selling, The Purpose Driven Life, but the title is where the similarities ended. I don’t often read books like this; it is really outside of my area of teaching. It is more of a book on biblical backgrounds than practical theology; it was about a way of reading Scripture with Jesus at the centre that has implications for discipleship. I would not call this a popular book—it was dense—but that does not mean it was not inspiring or challenging. I did a lot of highlighting and putting question marks and exclamation marks in the margins. As with other books I have blogged about I would like to share a few provocative quotes that speak the essence of the message rather than writing a formal review or critique.

None of us has an exclusive claim on God, except Jesus.

If Jesus and God are one, and if to know Jesus is to know God [John 8:19], then any conception of God that doesn’t look like Jesus is an idol.

The early church fathers rejected the dualism of Marcion only to succumb to philosophical dualism. The two-faced view of God [the Janus-Face] has dominated Christian theology ever since.

The resurrection [of Jesus] is the possibility of a completely new and previously unimaginable human story, a re-reading of all human stories from a radical perspective that had previously been hidden.

We follow Jesus so that when we die we can go to heaven. Not! Discipleship is not narcissistic. The reason we follow Jesus is to serve one another as he has served us.

In light of the way I interpret Scripture I am sometimes asked if I believe there are absolutes in the universe. My answer is affirmative; the one crucial absolute for Christians is complete and total dedication and surrender to Jesus as Lord.

What do you think?