Evan's Reviews > The Original Jesus

The Original Jesus by Daniel Darling
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it was ok
bookshelves: first-reads

I received an advance reading copy of this book, for free, through Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for my honest review.

The Original Jesus, by Daniel Darling, was not at all what I expected. After seeing the smiling “Buddy Jesus” caricature on the cover, and reading the descriptive blurb on the back of the book, I was anticipating a fun, humorous, and insightful point/counterpoint discussion about how Jesus is being presented in popular culture versus the Jesus described in The Bible. Reading the table of contents, it appeared the author had done a fantastic job of identifying the most common stereotypes, such as Guru Jesus, American Jesus, Dr. Phil Jesus, and BFF Jesus.

Despite the straightforward premise, the book seemed to lack focus. By the end of the first chapter, I realized the point/counterpoint discussion wasn’t to be. The “Guru Jesus” chapter can be summed up with, “If you’re not a Christian, you should become a Christian. Here’s why.” Later, the “Post-Church Jesus” chapter preached, “If you’re a Christian, you should regularly attend church. Here’s why.”

Where are the outrageous quotes from the sermons of megachurch pastors? Where are the misguided song lyrics? Where are the oversimplified bumper sticker slogans? Where are the examples of athletes, politicians, and born-again celebrities all perpetuating the Jesus myths identified by the author? In the “American Jesus” chapter, the author vaguely refers to a “political deejay” who is “not a Christian at all but a lapsed member of another faith. And he readily admitted to cultivating an outrage fest for profit”. I have a good idea of whom the author referring to, but what exactly did he say that perpetuated the myth of the so-called “American Jesus”? It’s difficult to offer a rebuttal when it is unclear what is being rebuked.

If the book had delivered on what it promised, it would have been an enjoyable read. Instead, I found The Original Jesus to be very disappointing.

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Reading Progress

August 16, 2015 – Shelved
August 16, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 16, 2015 – Shelved as: first-reads
August 27, 2015 – Started Reading
August 27, 2015 –
page 25
August 28, 2015 –
page 49
August 29, 2015 –
page 60
August 29, 2015 –
page 94
August 30, 2015 –
page 117
August 30, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Laura (Book Scrounger) My guess was Glenn Beck - was that yours as well?

Evan That's what I was thinking.

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