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The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus


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Peter J. Gomes has been minister of Harvard University's Memorial Church since 1974, when he was appointed Pusey Minister of the church, and serves as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals. An American Baptist minister, he was named one of America's top preachers by Time magazine. He is the recipient of thirty-three honorary degrees and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge, England, where the Gomes Lectureship is established in his name.


Once again, we are graced with a delightfully reflective volume by renowned preacher Gomes (Christian morals, Harvard; The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart), who here deftly and elegantly weaves a spiritually rich narrative examining the nuances of Jesus-centered thinking and biblical understanding in the contemporary American landscape. In 11 chapters divided into three parts-"The Trouble with Scripture," "The Gospel and the Conventional Wisdom," and "Where Do We Go from Here?"-he creates a finely crafted statement about Jesus's role in a modern world rife with social, political, and economic problems. Personal vignettes, early American history, and current events accent the text. Gomes's relaxed yet intellectual style promotes the progressive message upon which he strikes in his later chapters (e.g., in "A Gospel of Hope"). Aimed at promoting a genuine sense of hope, stability, and civil progress in the post-9/11 world, this work is a good alternative for those seeking shelter from recently published antireligious works by such authors as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Gomes is America's preacher; highly recommended for all libraries.-Anthony J. Elia, JKM Theological Lib., Chicago Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"An incisive original... [Gomes is] a born storyteller."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

As minister of Harvard University's Memorial Church, Gomes was a popular preacher well before The Good Book became a bestseller in 1996. Several subsequent books were, or read like, first-rate sermon collections, but this is an incisive original aimed at cautious defenders of conventional wisdom. Asserting that "we are meant to go beyond the Bible in order to discover the gospel," Gomes points away from the past toward "a future in which promise and fulfillment meet." Meanwhile, "we must manage to live in the world as it is"-a world steeped in hostility, suffering and injustice. If we take the gospel seriously, "then like Jesus we will risk all, and might even lose all." Still, we hang on to a muscular hope that is "not mere nostalgia for what never was, but an earnest expectation of what is to be." A born storyteller, Gomes knows how to spin an aphorism: "The opposite of fear is not courage but compassion." And indeed his tone is compassionate even when he chides those who fear conflict and change, but especially when he extols God's provision "for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it." (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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