This is a heady, original book, alive with fresh thinking, persuasive argument, and thorough, well-documented research. Ben-Shalom shows his work, leaves space for challenges, and above all calls for his readers to approach belief and history with a similar spirit of thoughtful questioning. While his prose is approachable, often even warm, the material can get dense, especially as he works through questions of translation and interpretation that likely feel more pressing to him than they do to readers.
That said, that work is the point, as Ben-Shalom’s mission, throughout, is to pare away the human to expose what he finds divine in scriptural, Kabbalahistic, and other ancient sources. In them he finds evidence that a messiah has come, that God can take human form, and that knowing this history in depth can help bolster one against the “seductive deceptions” of those eager to instill doubt. Christian readers interested in a gently challenging dive into the history and interpretation of the heart of their faith will find much here that resonates.
Takeaway: This impassioned treatise, from a father to his children, digs deeply into the roots of Christianity, emphasizing the divine.
Great for fans of: Brian D. McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy, Rob Bell’s What Is the Bible?
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A