May 29, 2011

Book Review: Four Portraits, One Jesus by Mark L. Strauss

In conjunction with reading Jesus and the Gospels by Craig Blomberg I have also been reading this Christological gem of a book in parallel with it. These two books combined are the best evangelical treatment of Christ's life that I have come across. It will suffice to say that I have read many and these are broad spectrum and good overall treatments of Jesus Christ's life on Earth. The only book I have read that trumps these two is John R Stotts: The Cross of Christ. The thing is though that Stott's treatment deals only with the redemption and salvational aspects of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and their affects on man. This book from Strauss coupled with Blomberg's is an exhaustive treatment that covers all possible angles of Jesus' life, ministry, Crucifixion and Resurrection. This book in particular is extremely well organized and leaves few stones unturned. It even refutes (rebukes) some of the wacky liberal theology theories that do not adhere to sound reasoning or sound hermeneutics. Especially the ones that have surfaced over the last 100 years to diminish or deny the deity of Jesus and the fact He is the Son of God. (*Cough*Bultmann*Cough*)

It dissects and dismantles the goofy theories that come from our deconstructionist and postmodern theological brethren. I wouldn't be surprised if many of  the Emergent and TBN brethren have not taken the time to read books like this and plumb the depths of the Gospels in this detail. Where this book fails to pick the liberal turkey bones clean, its partner on my desk Jesus and the Gospels will finish cleaning the meat off the spiritually dead carcass.

To top all of this off it has high quality graphics and charts to aid in understanding. Go pay the fifty bucks and get them both. Come to think of it go and buy Stott's The Cross of Christ and while your at it buy John MacArthur's The Gospel According to Jesus for good measure. These books are all you really need to get a good solid conservative grasp of the Jesus Christ, His glorious ministry and His death and resurrection.

Rating: 97 of 100 (100 of 100 for graphics and charts alone)

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