Long-time readers will recall that last year around this time I embarked on a gargantuan endeavor to offer a thorough critical review of my erstwhile teacher and mentor, Doug Jones's, long-awaited book, Dismissing Jesus: How We Evade the Way of the Cross. After seven installments and some abortive interaction from Mr. Jones, I had to abandon the project for lack of time, and repeated intentions to resume it have never come to fruition.
In lieu of a full review, then, I am offering here, in two parts, an extended set of discussion questions that I prepared for a book group this past month. In these questions, I attempt, as I did in my reviews, to capture both the positives and the negatives of the book: on the one hand, prodding readers to take the book's challenges seriously and try to apply them in our own churches, but on the other hand, critically examining the deep theological and ethical ambiguities of the book and how it might hinder, rather than help, the task of Christian discipleship. I hope these will be of service to individuals and churches as they wrestle with these important issues.Read More