Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Review: Finding the Love of Jesus

Finding the Love of Jesus From Genesis to Revelation. Elyse M. Fitzpatrick. 2018. Bethany House. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Jesus loves women. He has loved us since the beginning, even from before the words "in the beginning..." were written.

I have conflicting thoughts on Elyse Fitzpatrick's newest book, Finding the Love of Jesus From Genesis to Revelation. I do.

On one hand, it's a book about reading the Bible. It's a book on a mission to get people excited about reading the Bible. It's a book that seeks to clarify what the Bible is all about: JESUS. It's a book that wants believers to understand the Bible and really grasp the glory of God. So how could I not appreciate that?


On the other hand it's a book for women. Part of me totally and completely gets why there are devotionals for men and devotionals for women. Why there are certain subjects where it makes complete logical sense for books to be targeted just for men or just for women.

But I find myself having strong feelings that reading the Bible is not one such subject. Theology should be for everyone--for men, for women, for young and old. If something is TRUE like good theology is true, then it doesn't need to have a label "for women" or "for men" applied to it.

Bibles, bible commentaries, good and hearty theologies shouldn't have to be segregated into being "for men," or "for women." They just shouldn't. If theology is good and sound and TRUE and substantive, it shouldn't matter if it was written by a man or a woman.

Women shouldn't only read books by women. Men shouldn't only read books by men. Women can learn from men. Men can learn from women. The truth is it doesn't matter the sex or gender of the author-preacher-teacher. What matters is if they are being led by the Holy Spirit. The same spirit leads all believers.

Along the same lines, it also shouldn't matter if a book is new or old. Books should be judged by their contents: not their covers, not their authors.

But. Back to the book in hand. This book wants women to feel the love of God and to see that love of God expressed fully in Christ. This expression is not limited to the four gospels. Christ Jesus is to be seen Genesis to Revelation. There is not a book of the Bible where Christ is not to be found. The whole book is about HIM. Four chapters of the book focus on seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus is to be found in the law; Jesus is to be found in 'the gospel.' I can't argue the necessity for this even if I feel it is a felt need for both men and women.

It is written in an easygoing appealing style. It is not intimidating. It is not dry. It is engaging.

I agree with the premise that the Bible is all about Christ. I agree that every book of the Bible has something to say about Christ. But believing this to be true does not mean that every single verse in every single book of the Bible points to Christ. Or at least every single verse points equally. For example, it is easy to see Christ in Isaiah 53, it is a lot more difficult to see him in Genesis 5. Yet each generation in the begats was one step closer to the promised Seed. Each generation could cling to the hope that one day the Savior would be born.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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