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Real Life Jesus: Meaning, Freedom, Purpose

By Mike Cain
August 2008 | Review by Edgar Black


Author Mike Cain unpacks Jesus' claims in John's Gospel and shows us why they cannot be ignored: sin, forgiveness and restoration affect us personally. With humour, originality, passion and sensitivity, Mike asks us to look again at Jesus: the real-life version, not the caricature.

  • Publisher: Inter-varsity Press
  • ISBN: 978-1844742189
  • Pages: 192
  • Price: £8.99
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Book Review

This book is not for you to read – it’s for non-Christians. Mind you, if you’re in something of a rut in terms of talking-out your faith to colleagues and friends, then Mike Cain’s accessible, one-to-one approach may be a timely encouragement.

Don’t be put off by the front cover. It’s not selling Christianity as the spiritual equivalent of an Alka-Seltzer. Rather, it relates to the author’s central visual of the non-Christian as a beached whale – in the wrong place, in the wrong environment and with no hope. In contrast, the Christian is diving into the freedom, meaning and purpose of life that is available in a committed relationship with Christ.

The book is full of good one-liners, which you might like to store up for those encounters with a genuine enquirer. ‘The good news is that God is there and he is not hiding’; ‘In our world we are at war with one another because we are at war with God’; and, ‘We will never get hold of the life that Jesus came to bring until we get hold of the death that Jesus came to die’.

Based on the testimony of the apostle John, several close encounters with Jesus are examined, including Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the crippled man by the pool. These serve to gently but clearly reveal the true identity of Jesus as the face of God – a claim which, in Mike Cain’s own words, ‘we can’t walk away from’.

So, it’s certainly worth a read. But don’t hold onto this book – give it away or put it on your coffee table at home and on the welcome desk at church.


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