By David Townsend (From Seeds June 2022)
Do you ever read a book that resonates with your own experience? Freeing Jesus by Diana Butler Bass is, for me, just such a book.
“the book is a rediscovery of Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Saviour, Lord, Way, and Presence”
Freeing Jesus is strongly autobiographical whilst, at the same time, presenting a clear articulation of a renewed faith and theology that has moved away from fundamentalist evangelical notions of ‘salvation’.
Like me, Diana Butler Bass discovered fundamentalist evangelicalism in Providence Doucet on Unsplash her teens but, after giving it her all, found herself in mid-life questioning the journey she’d undertaken thus far. As the subtitle suggests, the book is a rediscovery of Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Saviour, Lord, Way, and Presence.
I know that I am not alone in having moved beyond the fundamentalism of my earlier years and, if that is your journey too, I think you will also find that this book resonates. On the other hand, if you never experienced aspects of evangelical fundamentalism, this book will help you to understand the faith journey of those of us who have.
And I suspect that it may help all of us to better articulate aspects of our own faith journey and understanding. As writer Anne Lamott says in her commendation: ‘Diana Butler Bass is one of only a few modern Christian writers who can absolutely blow me away with both spiritual insight and beautiful writing.’