I have had Reinventing Jesus on my bookshelf for some time. While it looked interesting, it was not a priority for me to read. It looked like more of the same popular level historical Jesus stuff that I have read plenty of.
After encouraging some people to read this book, I thought I should read it for myself. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The popular level is not a weakness, it is a strength. The attacks on Jesus and the Bible are not coming so much from the academy but rather from critics who write on a popular level.
One of the frustrations I have with some Christian scholars is they dismiss certain theories as being below their attention, not realizing that the people in the pew are encountering these theories without the resources to respond. This book fills that gap.
Some of the theories that this book addresses are those promoted by Dan Brown and Bart Ehrman. While Brown and Ehrman are very different (one a novelist, one a scholar), both have had a negative impact on people’s confidence in the Bible. This book deals appropriately with both authors.
One of my areas of speciality is that of the Jesus myth theory. I was very pleased to see that the authors responded to this theory in an effective way. If you know people troubled by the Jesus myth, this is the right book to send them.
I highly recommend Reinventing Jesus as a response to many of the popular level attacks that are troubling the church today.