Book Review: “It’s All About Jesus: What They Never Told You In Church”

JesusIn the forward to Daniel Silva’s new book, It’s All About Jesus: What They Never Told You In Church, Paul Ellis notes that the book is like a food pantry;  Tasty little goodies to be found everywhere.  That was my experience as I read;  I felt like a hungry man rummaging through a fridge, “Good…good…very good…not right now…mmm delicious…full on that…good…yummy!”

It’s All About Jesus is really all about Silva throwing the gauntlet down on “do it yourself” man-made religion.   He expertly peels away the religiosity that separates God’s people from Jesus like a man peeling an orange to get at the sweet fruit beneath.

Reading All About Jesus I quickly realized this is a book born out of an intense frustrating experience with institutional church structures.  That personal experience seems to have fueled Silva to speak out on the many concerns Christians think but are often to afraid to say.

Right from the start he likens the Christianity many of us bought into to the numerous products we have purchased in our life that ultimately didn’t measure up to the hype;

But because you paid so much money for it and you believed all the hype, you force yourself to enjoy it and make the best of it.  You call your friends and tell them that it’s the best thing you ever owned in an attempt to convince yourself you’re getting what you paid for.

It’s All About Jesus- Pg 15

I think many of us have felt hesitant to share our faith because deep down we didn’t want others to get stuck with the same poor product we’d been sold (and are still trying to pay off.)

Probably the section of the book that resonated with me the strongest is when Silva takes issue to the idea that somehow God leaves us when we sin leaving us with an “empty feeling”.

 

Living by feelings leaves you vulnerable as well.  What if you start to believe what I believed for so many years; “God leaves me when I sin because he cannot look upon sin.” As a result of believing it your feelings begin to line up with it.  From then on if you sin, all of a sudden you feel empty and alone like God has lifted his hand from you.  And now since you felt it, you believe it to be true even more;  you now have an experience that proves your new belief to be right.  So then you fall even deeper into that belief, causing you to experience the feeling of it even more.

It All About Jesus – pg 33

That was certainly my conditioning.  I always felt “empty” and a “distance” after a particularly big sin.  I would then feel the need to have my bible reading, prayer, and listening to a worship CD “ritual” to “cleanse” myself and create a space where I could feel God again.

Insanity!

What our “cleansing rituals” actually become is a subtle form of narcissism that takes the responsibility of relationship with God away from the finished work of Jesus and back on to my own “shaky” performance.

Daniel Silva quickly counters these notions reminding us of Jesus’ promise to never leave us…ever!

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Later in the book Silva sets his aim squarely on the church “temple system”  that has created a dependency within the people of God; a “fix” that can only be delivered when we give our faithful attendence, time, and finances:

I’ve been watching churches operate like drug dealers for 10 years.  “Come out to our meeting to experience the presense of GOD.”  And yet, we’re never taught how to experience God outside the temple, so we have to keep going back and paying our tithes for that weekly dose.

It’s All About Jesus- Pg 66

If it makes Silva feel any better, he’s only been watching that for 10 years… I’ve had to watch it for 38.

It’s All About Jesus…its always been about Jesus.  Daniel Silva reminds and encourages us in that!  I highlighted A LOT of this book…

…and you will too!

1 comment

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  • Nathan

    Reply

    Hi Steve, thanks for the review …. really ministered to me

    God Bless

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