Editor's Note: This review was written and published before news about Ravi Zacharias' sexual misconduct was revealed. The Banner condemns the sin of sexual abuse and stands with survivors. Our reviews do not necessarily reflect endorsement of or agreement with the reviewed items or suggest support for its authors/creators. We trust our readers to be discerning and critical of what they choose to read, watch or hear.
In a bid to counteract misconceptions about Jesus and Christianity found in the East and the West, authors Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray “seek to unveil the Eastern face of Jesus.” As they consider perceptions of honor and shame, innocence and guilt, and persecution and the rewards of sacrifice, they repeatedly show that “Jesus’ Eastern features are undeniable.” However, they assert, he is never simply Eastern or Western. He is the Savior of the world: “His reasoning is global; his stories are local; his visitation is transcendent; his message is personal; and his implications are eternal.”
Including both their moving conversion stories, and the narratives of people they encountered in their ministries, the authors show how understanding Jesus, his work, and “the olive-skinned gospel” in an Eastern cultural context will help readers counteract flawed modern perceptions of Christianity. Abdu Murray explains, “The narrative current flowing through Western culture today is that Christianity is an imperialistic religion devised by white males to dominate and control dark-skinned people.”
Particularly relevant is the chapter titled, “Why Should Westerners Care About How Easterners See Jesus?” It fleshes out how Jesus’ actions shaped later Western values and how his gospel led to societal transformation.
This perceptive, captivating book is suitable for individual spiritual enlightenment and renewal, and for small group study, though it doesn’t include discussion questions. An accompanying study guide and video are available. (Zondervan)