the weblog of Alan Knox

Summer reading

Posted by on Jun 13, 2009 in books, discipleship | 6 comments

As I mentioned a few days ago in my post “Community and Multiplication“, I’ve been reading The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small is the New Big for Today’s Church by Tony and Felicity Dale and George Barna. I finished reading that book, and I’m working on the review now.

All I can say for now is that this book has helped me think about the church in new ways… ways that I see modeled in Scripture. I’m still processing alot of it though.

A few days ago, another book arrived. I’ve been waiting anxiously for this book as well. What book? The Jesus Paradigm by my PhD mentor David Alan Black. I’ve read a couple of chapters, but I thought I would tease you with a few quotes.

The “Good News” of the Gospel is precisely that the saving work of Christ provides not only the forgiving and saving grace of God but also God’s transforming and sanctifying grace that is mediated through God’s Word and Spirit. Jesus brought into existence a new reality in which the actual Person of Christ becomes as important as established theological positions about Christ. (11-12)

Are there any signs that all of our theologizing makes any difference in our lives?… The issue is best posed as follows: Is the evangelical church in America prepared to deal with biblical truth, not just on the intellectual level, but on the level of daily living? I sometimes think that our courses in theology and church history and Greek and Hebrew do more to distract us than to deepen our sense of mission. (24) (Remember that David Alan Black is a Greek professor.)

Yet if I, as a Christian, do not practice what I preach, if I continue to major in the minors, if “poor in spirit” remains but a meaningless platitude in my own life, then I am merely an admirer of Jesus and not a true follower. (29)

Yeah, this is a hard-hitting book. What is his purpose in writing? To help people move from cultural churchianity into being a radical follower of Jesus Christ.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 6-13-2009


    I look forward to reading Dr. Black’s book. Thanks for the heads-up.

    What really caught my eye was this part of the quote:

    “…Jesus brought into existence a new reality in which the actual Person of Christ becomes as important as established theological positions about Christ.”

    I take two things from this that I think are crucial for believers to understand. (1) the “new reality” that Jesus has brought in is nothing less than new creation. It is the inauguration of the New Covenant, in which the Church represents a new humanity created in, for and by Jesus Himself. The Kingdom is now — not perfectly, but really. And (2) The “actual person of Christ” must, IMO, include both Head and body or the ‘totus Christus’. The gospel is the story of Jesus and His Church.


  2. 6-13-2009


    My misery gets worse. It hasn’t arrived down under yet.

  3. 6-13-2009

    I am only a short way into the Jesus Paradigm, but I like it so far. I found some things to be a bit off-putting but I expected that.

  4. 6-13-2009

    I am going to order the Dale’s work and received \The Jesus Paradigm\ Thursday. I am afraid but excited to see the Lord use this work to align me more with the Master! I am awaiting a work by a guy named Alan \Vanilla Bean\ Knox. A dear brother whom I am dying to meet and break a little bread with.

  5. 6-13-2009


    Good comment and discussion of the quote. There’s been much in this book that has “caught my eye”.

    Aussie John,

    I think it will be worth the wait. If you don’t get it soon let me know, and I’ll send you my copy.


    I’m being forced to read it slow because of various things going on right now. But, I think that’s a good thing.


    “Vanilla Bean”… LOL… I’ve always wanted a nickname…


  6. 6-15-2009


    Thankyou for that most generous offer. I have written Henry Neufeld who says he is in discussion with an outlet.


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