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Where's Your Jesus Now? by Karen Spears Zacharias

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Review of Where's Your Jesus Now?

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The Advocate

Where's Your Jesus Now?
by Karen Spears Zacharias

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"This compelling and passionate look at how fear eclipses faith in frightening times also demonstrates how to confront what you fear most, wrestle with it, and then release it--freeing yourself as well."

Author/journalist Karen Spears Zacharias openly asks in our hyper-vigilance against our real or perceived enemies, have we taken our eyes off of Jesus, our Protector and Redeemer? Zacharias examines the world we live in and the events shaping our lives, giving the reader an insightful exploration of faith versus fear.

Her first chapter begins with the captivating story of Eric Shannon, Robin Hocker and gray-haired grandmother Shirley Dunham’s response to the question “Where’s Your Jesus Now?” “He’s right here.” In a series of essays, (many pulled from Zacharias’ days as a crime reporter), she digs into the mystery of faith and the grip of fear many American Christians have allowed into their lives.

Zacharias doesn’t sugarcoat her opinions. For example, a direct quote that should give every Christ-follower a reality slap on the back of the head:

“ We are a loud, angry, revenge-seeking nation. We insist on this notion that God's main obligation is to spank those we mark as misbehavin' and to whup up on those people we don't like much. We don't want God to be our judge, per se, but we sure as heck expect him to be our Avenger. We distort God into our own personal Terminator . . . Every tornado, every earthquake, every drought, every genocide, and every hot day is one more reminder that people have got to repent or perish. No worries for those of us in the community of faith, however. God is our designated hitter, ensuring our personal victory in ball games, in battles, and in finding a good parking space . . .”

This compelling and passionate look at how fear eclipses faith in frightening times also demonstrates how to confront what you fear most, wrestle with it, and then release it--freeing yourself as well.

I found her reasoning sound even though I didn’t agree with her on every point. She is not a raving lunatic on top of her soapbox or a loose-lipped woman after having a few too many drinks. Her political commentary is often bittersweet: mixed with stinging sarcasm and yet revealing nuggets of truth. She asks tough questions like, “How do we believe that a God who loves us more than we can comprehend can be willed by us to harm those who do not share our beliefs?” She challenges us to rethink our paradigm. Zacharias doesn't pretend to have all the answers. Her tone is both conversational and tolerant. Her thoughts on the religion of Certainosity is seen in this poignant quote, ”It seems to me that a faith without forgiveness, without love, without redemption, is nothing more that a set of rules by which we seek to gain power over others. That kind of man-made religion, that religion of certainosity, fashions God into a pissed-off father, dropping shell casings on our head as we cower under a sleeping bag on the floorboard, weeping in fear.”

I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Where’s Your Jesus Now? You won’t be disappointed as you work through “how” faith and fear play out in your life.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.