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The Unheeded Christ: Jesus Demands Serious Obedience

By David Cook
March 2009 | Review by Peter Culver

Synopsis

Jesus Christ is a provocative, uncompromising teacher. Yet it is easy to become so accustomed to Jesus' words that they become old friends –– comfortable, unfamiliar, unchallenging. We get so used to him that we forget to take notice of what he commands us to do.

  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1845503697
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: £7.99
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Book Review

Don’t read this book unless you are prepared to be challenged and changed by our Lord’s words. David Cook is Principal of Sydney Missionary College, Australia, and the book is based on talks he gave at ‘Principal’s hour’ in the college.

The title is an apt description of the contents. The author takes the direct teaching of Jesus and shows how Evangelicals become so familiar with it that we fail to do what the Lord says.

Here is Christ’s call not merely to hear him but to face the inconveniences and hurts of uncompromising discipleship. The author points to one writer who puts Mohammed not Jesus as the most influential person in history because he has far more influence over his disciples than Jesus does over his!

Here is a flavour of the book. On loving our enemies: ‘The highest test of our integrity, of our faith and our maturity, is how we treat those who dislike us’. On forgiveness: ‘There is a bigger goal than our desire to get even … The reality of my forgiveness must show itself in my forgiveness of others … The church is the community of God’s forgiven and forgiving people’.

The chapter on sex and marriage is alone worth the price of the book, as is the final chapter on the great commission. Cook deals also with ambition; wealth accumulation; the reality of judgement; resolving tension between Christians; self delusion; and other vital matters. The chapter ‘Why not accumulate?’ (Matthew 6:19-24) is dynamite for us all in the Western world.

David Cook clearly writes from a Reformed perspective – evident, for example, in his helpful chapter entitled, ‘Did I choose or was I chosen? (Matthew 11:20-30). The original talks were given with Australians in mind, so there are several references to things Australian. But all these easily translate into our culture. A great little book –– thoroughly recommended.

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