Leith Anderson, pastor at Wooddale Church, wrote Dying for Change several years ago. It’s a book I devoured at the time and was formative in my re-imagining of church. He followed that up by writing A Church for the 21st Century. I enjoyed that one as well.
It’s been several years since I’ve ready something by him, and when I saw Jesus on the rack of a bookstore on sale, I thought it would be a great addition to my reading list.
I finally got around to reading it last month, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. Anderson seeks to create a chronological narrative of the life of Jesus. While he’s relatively successful in doing so, it’s simply… well, bland.
You would be much better off picking up a chronological Bible than reading Anderson’s attempt. While there are a few helpful insights into culture and biblical history scattered throughout the book, 95% of it is simply Anderson’s rewording of the gospel narratives.
I was, of course, encouraged by the book simply because it was about the Messiah, and it was absolutely faithful to the gospel narratives.
If you need the help of a “reading a book” to help you read the Gospels, then by all means, pick up this book. However, if you can discipline yourself to read through the chronological New Testament in a month, that would be a much better investment of time.