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Have you ever felt defensive when someone challenges your beliefs about religion or Christianity? If that’s been true for you, Speaking of Jesus could change your perspective. Author Carl Medearis, a long-term resident and expert on the Middle East, urges us to go back to the core, to Jesus, the Center of it all.

S of JPeople react to Christianity for a variety of reasons: their own negative experience, misinformation, the influence of others. But the game changes totally when we point them away from the superstructure of religion and the catastrophes of “Christian” history to look at Jesus. The subtitle of the book, “the art of not evangelism,” gives a hint that this is not a book to provide you with a canned outline or method for a sweaty-handed conversation with the person in the next cubicle.

If we are to “live like Jesus and share His love,” we need to remember that Jesus went out of his way to spend time with non-religious people. And he generally challenged their thinking, not their behavior.

I was touched by the amazing stories Medearis relates of people from a variety of cultures responding to the good news of Jesus. The humor and insight in the book are disarming; the truths he shares are like a gut-punch.

Larry and I found this book extremely provocative. Some of Medearis’s statements are startling, some you may disagree with. But in the end, I believe you will have a renewed appreciation of the ministry of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels, and a refreshed enthusiasm for introducing people in your circle of influence to the One who can transform their lives.