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Too Good to be False: How Jesus' Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  23 reviews
What if we take the story of Jesus seriously—as a story? Skeptics urge us to do that—it’s “only a story,” they say, a legend just like many other god-stories from ancient days. Why do we treat it as anything more than that? Too Good To Be False takes up that question with an approach no author has taken in close to a century.

This book shows that although the skeptics’ que
Paperback, 1, 230 pages
Published August 1st 2020 by DeWard Publishing
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Kailey (Luminous Libro)
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If you examine Christ's life, his personality, his teaching, his leadership style, one thing becomes abundantly clear, Jesus is too good to be false. There has never been a human being who lived the way He did, and it would be impossible to make up a story of a man like Him. There's no way that Jesus could be anyone other than who He claimed to be: God Incarnate.

I love the way this book follows logical steps of reasoning and evidence from the Bible and from history to build an irrefutable argume
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my complaints about many recent popular-level apologetics books is that they tend to cover hackneyed topics with more or less the same approach. (Try counting the number of books from the past decade or so that cover the minimal facts argument in a manner almost identical to the popular approach of Habermas or Craig.) This is not a complaint I have about 'Too Good To Be False' for two reasons.

First, the book is absolutely unique among modern apologetics books in terms of both content and
Tom Gilson's Too Good to be False centers around Jesus' character and how His attributes reveal His divinity. This was a perspective I hadn't before heard which is what makes this book remarkable since it can sometimes feel like a new book on the market is just a rehashing of a book I've already read before. Gilson writes on Jesus’ exceptionality in the areas of His love, brilliance, authority, paradoxical leadership, His world-changing mission, His friendship, and the uniqueness of Him as both ...more
Dawn Klinge
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Too Good to be False is a Christian apologetics book that's rigorous in its' intellectual approach to the author's stated purpose: to show how Jesus' character proves he is God. The arguments stay true to logic and the author brings out several points that I hadn't thought about in quite the same way before. I appreciated this deep dive into the character of Jesus and I closed the book with a greater sense of awe and love for who he is. For both Christians and skeptics, I highly recommend this b ...more
Jacob O'connor
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jesus is far and away the most impressive man I've ever encountered.  I had this thought decades ago.  I was in a ghetto convenience store.  My high school girlfriend's family owned a chain, and I would keep her company.  One long Saturday I brought my Bible, and I read the Gospels.  Whatever the Pharisees threw at Him, Jesus had the perfect answer.  He was quick, He was smart, and He saw right through them.  

So I agree with Gilson.  The more you know Jesus, the more clearly true His crucial cla
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was put on a quest to read about this Jesus who is Too Good To Be False, and like a newsboy in my formative years, I felt compelled to share the good news.

Too Good To Be False mentions we would expect Jesus to be “inaccessible, remote, far beyond human reach.” Gilson even appropriately asserts that if it were up to us, He would be. “Instead, shockingly, He calls us friend.”

If you want to see Jesus with fresh eyes without compromising the Scripture, then get yourself this book to find out wh
Jonathan Rodriguez
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Answer? Jesus Really IS Too Good to be False!

Tom Gilson covers the defense of Christianity from an interesting angle by looking at the incomparable characteristics of Jesus and how this reveals his reality. To create the unique personhood of Jesus would require a literary genius because the characteristics he had were unlike any you would read about in literature. Gilson also takes a look at his brilliance, his leadership, his relational skills and more to highlight the exceptionality of Ch
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
3+. Contains many interesting points not as often thought about regarding the utter uniqueness of Jesus, expressed in a very readable way.
Stephen Bedard
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some people thing Jesus is too good to be true. But what if he is too good to be false? That what Tom Gilson looks at in this accessible new book about Jesus. Gilson looks, not just at what Jesus did, but what he didn't do to give us fresh perspective on the most important person in history. ...more
Katrina D.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this book, and how it used the Biblical accounts to show how unique and powerful are the words and actions of Jesus Christ. I discovered truths about Jesus I had never considered before, even as a lifelong Christian—facets of his personality that made me sit back in awe. It was easy to read and enjoy, and I will be referring back to this book for years to come.
Clinton Wilcox
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Special thanks to DeWard Publishing for the free review copy of the book.

When I first heard the title of Tom Gilson's book, I must confess I was puzzled. How could something be "too good to be false"? That didn't make logical sense to me. Now that I have read through the tome, I can see it is something that has stared us all in the face for a long time. Now Gilson has brought this fact to life.

Building on the works of 19th century Christian thinkers such as Atticus Haygood and William Paley, Gil
Erik Manning
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who takes an interest in the intersection of the historical Jesus and Christian apologetics, it sometimes feels like all that can be said has been said. Works asking the question “who was Jesus?” are legion, both from a skeptical viewpoint and a Christian perspective. Too Good to Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality by Tom Gilson takes a fresh perspective that makes this the first work of apologetics that made me want to worship.

There are plenty of books th
Scott Cherry
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece of fresh scholarship on Jesus and the Gospels!

Tom Gilson’s new book, 'Too Good To Be False', is extraordinary, and probably groundbreaking with respect to the gospels! I exuberantly recommend it to everyone, whether you are a current follower of Jesus, a skeptic, or a devoted Muslim, etc. This book compellingly demonstrates that the character of Jesus is unsurpassed in all of literature. Not only unsurpassed, but also unsurpassable! Gilson argues that no writer in history has every
Jen M
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“… we believe that all human history, all human destiny, indeed the life of every single individual who’s ever lived, rests entirely on this one young man’s shoulders and his alone, now and throughout all eternity.” (165)

Throughout my undergraduate education at a Christian university, I’ve read books on apologetics, systematic theology, biblical theology, and the like. I’ve also read literature that embodied the beauty, goodness and truth of the Christian story. Therefore, when I heard of Gilson
Jennifer DeFrates
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Too Good to be Missed

Do you want to fall in love with Jesus again? Maybe you have never taken the time to really get to know Him or to see Him clearly. This book will rekindle a sense of awe and wonder for the person and deity of Christ. It really is too good to be missed.

I read a lot of apologetics books. So when someone claims to have a new teaching on Christ, I tend to be a tad suspicious. I certainly was when I began reading Tom Gilson’s new book, Too Good to be False. But Gilson claims old
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Too Good To Be False was a breath of fresh air in the Christian non-fiction realm. I love to read Christian apologetics books but they often repeat themselves to the point that what they say gets to be commonplace.

Too Good To Be False takes a whole different approach and because it does, I have come away with a whole new view of who Jesus is and how worthy He really is of worship!

The first chapter was really hard for me to get through. (Probably cause I am a tired mom of littles who shouldn't re
Chan Arnett
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book takes a refreshing approach to examining the life and works of Jesus of Nazareth, one that he admits he "resurrected" from the past but has been lost to modern readers. This approach is to look at Jesus based on what He "didn't say," and what He "didn't do," rather than what He did do and what He did say, which ends up being very refreshing and insightful! Every chapter has something that I found unique and interesting and had me taking a new look at the context of passages I've read o ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Too Good to be False gives an overview of why Jesus is someone we are STILL talking about thousands of years later. Why do you ask? Jesus has personal attributes that history had never before seen and will never see again. Jesus had parents that learned from his teaching on love instead of the other way around. Jesus was the most brilliant man who ever walked the face of the earth. When he gave his Sermon on the Mount, it was by his authority. He didn't need any sources. He was never dumbfounded ...more
Carla Lake
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Through highlighting the extraordinarily powerful and excellent character of Christ, and exposing the holes in skeptics' theories about the credibility of the Jesus 'story', Tom Gilson takes the reader on a journey that ends in worship. Interestingly much of his case is made in what Jesus didn't do which I found to be a rather unique approach. By the end of the book and the epilogue, one is left standing in awe of Christ and searching her heart to see how best she can devote herself wholly to Hi ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a lawyer, or an investigative reporter, or maybe a detective, or if you love to ask questions, you will love this book. Reading it was as though I were sitting with Tom Gilson, meeting this amazing Jesus all over again. We marveled at his love and his goodness. His clever questions and brilliant responses, his leadership and humility all came alive. This book puts it all together: history, apologetics, a perfect character and unexpected humor. It offers insightful ...more
Philip Esguerra
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book delved into unnoticed character traits of Jesus which clearly identifies His deity. I've got many a-ha moments in reading the author's highlighting these divine attributes. Well crafted book that made you worship more of Jesus and made you feel that you have put your trust in the right Person. ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Many compelling arguments for an apologist’s point of view, but got a little repetitive and really needed something to pull it together as a whole. It was also in desperate need of competent editing. How a book with so many grammatical mistakes could go to print is beyond me.
Blake Western
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting approach to apologetics in which the author points to the reality and greatness of Jesus through His character.
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Tom Gilson writes on the truth of Jesus Christ for a world that's more and more confused about spiritual reality every day. His areas of special interest include sexuality, science rationality, and above all, Jesus Christ himself.

He's a senior editor at the highly respected Christian news and commentary website The Stream ( Since 2007 he's also run the widely praised Thinking Christian

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“Jesus' story can still surprise you. Does that surprise you?” 0 likes
“Power and love meet in Jesus like they never have in any other person, or even any other character in literature.” 0 likes
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