I was delighted to be given a copy of this book to review for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is by Matt Croasmun, a Vineyard Scholar for whom I have the greatest respect and always has something interesting or thought-provoking to say; and secondly because this is a book about Jesus that has the sole aim of encounter with Jesus, rather than ‘just’ increasing our head knowledge. This book could be described in a variety of ways – simply put, it is a six-week journey with Jesus through some of the 300+ questions he asks, or questions we read around him.
Let Me Ask You A Question would make a great introduction to personal devotional times for someone pondering the place of their faith in their life today. Croasmun is quite open about his own journey – and the focus on Jesus and the role of questions mean that this little book is a ‘safe place’ for folk who (like me!) have doubts and queries about their faith. Jesus is presented beautifully – but also in his shocking biblical reality:
“Jesus’ primary offence is that he says we need him, that apart from him, there is no life in us”
Amen! Let Me Ask You a Question invites the thoughtful disciple to re-encounter Christ through the Bible, and this is a good and beautiful thing. When I was at university, I led a group called a ‘Nine:20’ group, in accommodation, that sought to engage people with Jesus Question in Luke 9:20, ‘who do you say that I am?’. That question is at the heart of this little book/journey:
“Answering Jesus’ question – “who do you say I am?” – means committing to a life in dialogue with him, a life in which Jesus gets to correct our answers, redefine our language, reform our thoughts, and reconnect us to those around us. Through this one question, Jesus can remake our entire world“
Again, I say, Amen! I’m a fan of this book, and will recommend it widely, particularly to those of my own generation honestly wrestling with questions. I had a couple of minor quibbles – one being the usage of the term ‘third way‘ in relation to Jesus’ treatment of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11 (in Vineyard circles this is a loaded term, and I think could easily have been called something else) – but overall this is a book that, taken carefully and prayerfully, will enhance and grow your relationship with Jesus. I have certainly found it enriching and encouraging – as well as challenging and thought-provoking. I hope Matt writes more!