The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield, Free for CAPC Members
Butterfield isn’t proposing hospitality without personal boundaries, but hospitality that is open to having those boundaries widened for the sake of the gospel.
Sometimes it’s difficult to pick up my Bible and read because the language is so archaic. It takes some work to slog through the sentences and decipher their meanings; there is something magical about reading a book that was written thousands of years ago, but it can take me an hour to get through a couple chapters, and I can read a quarter of a novel in that time.Reading about Christ’s life in a new format is a refreshing reminder of what His sacrifice means for our lives.
My brain is used to interpreting 21st century language patterns, and I’ve wondered if the Bible would be more relatable if it was written in a simpler form. Russ Ramsey’s latest book attempts to address that very question by presenting biblical stories in a new way.
The Passion of the King of Glory, published by InterVarsity Press, is a series of biblical retellings that covers Jesus’ life and death. It’s part of Ramsey’s Retelling the Story series, which “explores the narrative arc of the Bible in compelling language that is faithful to the text of Scripture.” In The Passion of the King of Glory, Ramsey uses simple language to retell the stories, such as the Last Supper, from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:
Late afternoon on the Thursday before the Passover, thirteen men sat around a table in a room on the second floor of a home on the southern edge of the Old City. They had been together for three years now—years filled with wonder, struggle, honor, and rejection. They were about to eat their last supper together, though only two of them knew it. Partway through the meal, Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and made his way around the room, washing the feet of each of the twelve men he called his disciples. It was one last demonstration of his deep love for them and a foretaste of what he was about to do to make them clean.
In his introduction, Ramsey clarifies that he paraphrases Scripture, rewrites dialogue, and inserts his own interpretations into characters’ motivations, thoughts, and feelings. The book is divided into five sections—Obscurity, Popularity, Rejection, Jerusalem, and Passion—each including a variety of short tales from the Gospels, such as Jesus destroying the temple, the death of John, and the Good Samaritan.
Remembering that Jesus, John, Mary, and the disciples were real people who once walked the planet is valuable when we try to relate to their stories. Reading about Christ’s life in a new format is a refreshing reminder of what His sacrifice means for our lives.
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