Mark Galli, editor at Christianity Today, thinks so. His new book, Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, now out with Baker, enters the fray about Jesus with some unexpected themes.
I read this in ms form and blurbed the book: “Galli reads widely, writes winningly, and expounds Jesus convincingly. Finally, a Jesus who was potent enough to cause commotion and even (temporary) chaos.”
I won’t blog through this whole book, but I am suggesting you think about reading it. What Galli contends is that we have tamed Jesus, we’ve made him far too kind and gentle, and Galli examines those features of the Gospel where Jesus shows the rough side of his tongue and the rough side of his love. Along the way Galli reveals his personal story — his family’s rough road into the faith.
Very few authors have a single sentence that tells the whole book in crisp form. Knowing this line should not prevent you from reading the book, but here’s a line to which we can react right now. What do you think of this his opening line to chapter 1? “God loves you and has a difficult plan for your life.” Bingo! The whole book.
When it comes to the big picture, Galli sides with Tozer-types (though with more balance) rather than Yancey-types in this book. I always thought Tozer was cranky, but I needed to read him; I liked Yancey but thought there was more to say. Keeping God’s love and the yoke of the kingdom in balance is no small task — most fail in the attempt.
Emerging Christians should like the prophetic side of this book though they may well think he overdoes it; traditional evangelicals will enjoy hearing someone say Jesus isn’t always “lovy-dovy.” Emerging folks or Brennan Manning or mainline types might not like the book but need it; holiness type evangelicals might like it but might not need it.