by Leith Anderson


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.

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Jeff Noble

Jeff is the pastor of Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Virginia. He grew up in Arkansas, loves fantasy football and is an Apple fan boy. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @journeyguy.
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