Confronting Jesus: 9 Encounters with the Hero of the Gospels – Rebecca McLaughlin

Confronting Jesus Rebecca McLaughlin
Confronting Jesus: 9 Encounters with the Hero of the Gospels by Rebecca McLaughlin
Also by this author: 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity, World on Fire: Walking in the Wisdom of Christ When Everyone’s Fighting About Everything, Is Christmas Unbelievable?: Four Questions Everyone Should Ask about the World's Most Famous Story
Series: The Gospel Coalition #28
Published by Crossway on September 20, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Apologetics, Christian Life
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four-stars

Award-Winning Author Rebecca McLaughlin Explores Who Jesus Really Is in This Follow-Up to Confronting Christianity

Jesus is the most famous human being in all of history. But while many people have a basic sketch of Jesus in their minds, comparatively few have taken time to read the four biographies of his life in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

In Confronting Jesus, Rebecca McLaughlin shares important biblical context to help all readers see why the Gospels should be taken seriously as historical documents. Exploring eyewitness testimony about Jesus, McLaughlin points to him as a first-century Jewish man who is the Son of God, King of the Jews, mighty healer, greatest teacher, lover of sinners, suffering servant, perfect sacrifice, and universal Lord. This follow-up to her first book, Confronting Christianity, helps readers understand the message of the Gospels and explore who Jesus really is. Individuals and groups can work through the book together with the Confronting Jesus Study Guide and the Confronting Jesus Video Study.

Winsome and Informative: Mixes thorough research with an approachable writing style and cultural references to help readers grasp biblical truths
Great for Apologetics and Evangelism: Presents the gospel clearly and invites readers to study with a friend
Companion Resources for Personal and Small-Group Study: Confronting Jesus Study Guide and Confronting Jesus Video Study also available
Follow-Up to Rebecca McLaughlin's Confronting Christianity This book offers readers a next step and a helping hand as they explore who Jesus is
Accessible: Assuming neither knowledge of the Bible or belief on the part of her readers, McLaughlin provides a clear explanation of the 4 Gospels Published in partnership with the Gospel Coalition

There are always new books published about Jesus, and this one is ahead of the game by not claiming to say anything radical. Rebecca McLaughlin focuses on the gospel accounts about Jesus’s life, adding more historical context along the way. She writes to a broad audience, balancing her points between the different groups of people she expects to read this, and she focuses on being faithful to Scripture and winsome to others, not edgy or disruptive. She directs some of her applications to Christians, but she primarily speaks to readers who are spiritual seekers or resistant to Christianity. Throughout the book, she tries to clear up people’s confused images of Jesus, focusing on what the gospels say about him apart from contemporary assumptions.

McLaughlin takes a thematic approach, writing about Jesus’s characteristics and roles. She writes about his Jewishness and his divine identity, and about him as a king, healer, teacher, lover, servant, sacrifice, and Lord. She draws on different passages in each chapter to show who Jesus is, and she carefully explains concepts that will be difficult for some readers to accept. I appreciate how sensitive she is to other people’s worldviews without softening the specifics of her own. Confronting Jesus: 9 Encounters with the Hero of the Gospels is orthodox, but gracious as well.

She also weaves in a number of pop culture references to help people without a church background relate to some of the themes. I was so here for all of the Doctor Who references. A perk of reading British authors! However, McLaughlin spoils some stories to make connections with their meaningful turning points. She mostly only shares plot twists from properties that have been around for a long time, but near the end, she spoils the ending of the 2020 Matt Haig novel The Midnight Library. Because of that book’s popularity, a lot of people will already know the ending, but anyone who has been planning to read that novel should do so before reading this.

Overall, I found Confronting Jesus very impressive. McLaughlin did a great job writing to a broad and general audience without making the book feel too tailored to one group, and there are interesting reflection points and applications for anyone who reads this. People who have been Christians for years can still discover new insights here, or at least see something expressed in a fresh way, and people who want to better understand Jesus as a religious figure or are considering faith in Him will appreciate this book’s readability and helpful insights.

four-stars