Banner Image:   Baptist-Times-banner-2000x370-
Template Mode:   Baptist Times
    Post     Tweet

The Gospel beyond the Gospels

Trevor Dennis accuses the Gospels of misrepresenting God - and creates a god in his own pacifist image 

Gospel Beyond GospelsThe Gospel beyond the Gospels
By Trevor Dennis
ISBN 978-0-281-07533-1
Reviewer: Pieter J. Lalleman

Trevor Dennis’ premise at the outset is that the Gospels ‘are magnificent, but they are flawed, and some of their material is toxic’. And again, ‘the Bible never speaks with one voice on any matter of significance’ (p. 137).

From these points of departure, he explores in the first two chapters of his book what the Gospels say about the women who meet with Jesus, and he concludes that it is not enough. Chapter three is devoted to a parable of Jesus and finally chapter four studies the portrait of Jesus presented in the Gospels.

In classic liberal style, Dennis accuses the Gospels of misrepresenting God. He wants to purge them of all notions of kingship, punishment, violence and divine anger. He confidently distinguishes between elements in the Gospels which he acknowledges as stemming from Jesus, and elements which originated in later history. He chides the Gospels for having more male characters than female ones. He rejects the idea that God reigns; rather, God lives in a village and sits on a mat on the floor. Even in Paul’s hymn in Philippians 2:5-11 he discovers a mistake.

In other words, Dennis creates a god in his own pacifist image. Despite the fact that it contains quite a few good insights as well, I therefore cannot recommend this book.

The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon's College

Baptist Times, 22/09/2017
    Post     Tweet
Personal grief leads to a fresh understanding of the Psalms - and 'one of the best devotional books I have read in a long time'
Emily Owen explores the idea that God has always been leaving personalised calling cards to his followers to remind them of his presence, and the result is a rewarding, meditative read, free of sentimentality
These reflections from the new Bishop of Chelmsford, written in the context of her brother's murder, contain so much on which we may and indeed should ponder
A good presentation of the intellectual arguments in favour of the truth of the Christian faith - but will postmodern thinkers be persuaded?
An engaging study guide that, despite some concerns, shows how the Bible is relevant to environmentalism, with many stories and ideas
Küster is urging theologians and biblical scholars to find and identify God in art and culture, as he addresses the quest for God in the context of oppression, violence and terror from an aesthetic perspective
    Posted: 08/10/2021
    Posted: 17/09/2021
    Posted: 30/07/2021
    Posted: 30/04/2021