Friday, 12 June 2009
Jesus Matters: A Product of both the Old and Young
I have just met Dr David Shenk in the seminary a couple of days ago, and he graciously gave me the latest book that he co-edited that is just hot from the press, Jesus Matters: Good News for the Twenty-First Century (Scottdale: Herald Press, 2009). Shenk was really enthusiastic about this book. This is because it is not simply another book about Jesus.
After reading the book, I can understand David Shenk's excitement. The uniqueness of this book is that each of the 17 essays is written by at least 2 authors - an established senior scholar/leader and one or more young adults - to consider the various ways Christians encounter and experience Jesus. Some of the topics included in this book are: Jesus and the Bible; Jesus and creation; Jesus and the Kingdom of God; Jesus and God; Jesus and the cross; Jesus and salvation; Jesus and mission; Jesus and the church; Jesus and other religions; and Jesus and the future. Some of the authors include Stanley Green, Michele Hershberger, William Shenk, Mark Thiessen Nation, Tom Yoder Neufeld, Willard Swartley, Jack Suderman and April Yamasaki.
This book is written in a very engaging manner, and is suitable for use even in bible-study groups and Sunday school classes.
What is particularly great and unique about this compendium of essays is that the reader not only listens to the voice of a season scholar/leader, one also gets a glimpse of how a young adult struggles to make sense of his/her faith in the contemporary world. I really like this book because it forces both the old and the young to listen to each other, learn from each other, engage with each other, and to work together.
I wonder in the Malaysian context, if a book such as this is commissioned where each essay is both written by a senior leader/scholar/pastor and a young adult, what result would this project accomplish? Would the senior leader listen and engage the younger generation? Would the younger generation learn from the wisdom of the old? I think I would like to see such a book being birthed in Malaysia.