the weblog of Alan Knox

Money back guarantee?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2011 in blog links, discipleship | 3 comments

Money back guarantee?

Sometime last week, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Try Jesus.” I asked my family what they thought it meant. We tossed around a few ideas – none of them good ideas as far as I could tell. So, I put the question to my Facebook friends: What does this bumper sticker? How can it be a good exhortation?

Now, it seems that Dan from “The Ekklesia is Southern Maine” has thought about this bumper sticker and written a serious post about it. His post is called “Trying Jesus.” After giving us two possibilities for the meaning of “Try Jesus,” Dan says:

I think they both have a major flaw. It is one of the two words, and obviously it isn’t the word “Jesus.” The word “try” implies seeing if something works for you, it’s as if you are saying “give Jesus a shot.” Why? For practical benefit. I don’t believe we can simply “give Jesus a shot” since following him implies dying to one’s self and completely surrendering to Him as Lord. It seems hard to me to believe that you could try that on for size.

Exactly! Jesus isn’t a product to be tried in order to decide if we like it (him) or not. We can’t try surrender. We can’t try death. We can’t try… well, you get the picture.

Of course, I’ve run into people who have said something like, “I’ve tried that church stuff (or religion stuff), and it didn’t work for me.” I think the answer to a statement like this is, “You’re absolutely right. Trying it will never work for you.”

What do you think?


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

  1. 2-2-2011

    Well, given the fact that the Merriam Webster’s definition of the word “to try” is nearly the same as “to test,” and that the Bible does say “don’t put God to the test,” ‘trying’ Jesus probably wouldn’t be a good idea. My wife says it makes her wonder if Peter, while hanging upside down on a cross was saying “hmmm… maybe I should have tried something/somebody else.” Doesn’t the parable of the seeds talk about people who ‘try’ Jesus?

  2. 2-2-2011

    Yeah, I guess. It isn’t a great proclamation. All that has been said about it is true.

    And yet, if someone has to climb ten steps, and if it is confusing or frightening or difficult for them, it may be OK to encourage them when they are at the first or second step.

    In everyday life, I’m guessing most of us would find a way to encourage both the Christian with the bumper sticker and the unbeliever considering Jesus. Good job, take another step…

  3. 2-2-2011


    Yes, that’s the way that I understood the bumper sticker too.


    Absolutely! Those who are new in the faith (and all of us actually) need continuous encouragement, correction, training, etc. I’m still not sure “Try Jesus” is the kind of exhortation we need.