In effect, the American church is redefining who Jesus Christ is. On the heels of that is the usual attack from skeptics. Witness the recent Washington Post piece by Raphael Lataster, who speculates that Jesus never even existed.
Into this madness comes a breath of fresh air.
Todd Friel, the masterful Christian apologist (of “Wretched Radio” fame), has produced a new book, “Jesus Unmasked: The Truth Will Shock You.”
Yes, it will.
Friel’s defense of the biblical Christ is so seamless and engaging, one reckons it should be used in every youth group and seminary in America. It’s that good.
I like very much Friel’s ability to distill truth; for example: “Postmoderns are quick to say, ‘Your religion is true if it works for you.’
“Umm, no it’s not. Just because something ‘works’ does not mean it is true. A convicted criminal on death row can get through the day believing he is going to be released tomorrow, but his belief is misplaced; his faith is wrong. It may ‘work,’ but it is not correct.”
He understands that the very center of the skeptics’ target is the person of Jesus Christ. This is the center of everything and on that rests every important question for each individual.
That’s just one reason “Jesus Unmasked” is the real deal.
Who hasn’t known a young person, steeped in Christianity from birth, going off to college and coming home at Christmas to announce he is an atheist?
It’s to this audience I believe “Jesus Unmasked” is most valuable. Friel provides plenty of evidence that the real Jesus, the one found in the Bible, is alive and well and all-sufficient for every person on the planet.
Bible prophecy alone attests to the true nature of Christ, as Friel points out: “Jesus Christ, who lived from approximately A.D. 0 to 33 was spoken about in each and every book of the Old Testament written centuries before He was born. In other words, Jesus used the Old Testament Scriptures to prove that He was indeed the promised Savior of the world.”
Of the Bible itself, Friel writes: “If it is true that one book was written over fifteen hundred years by 40 authors about one man, that would be impressive. If that book made hundreds of predictions about that man which were fulfilled to the letter, that would be supernatural. That is exactly what the Bible is: a book about one man, supernaturally fulfilling hundreds of prophecies. That man is Jesus Christ.”
One of the things that sets “Jesus Unmasked” apart is its singular focus on the biblical Christ. This is not the false Christ presented by folks ranging from Deepak Chopra to Brian McLaren. The subject of Friel’s book is the One who alone can reconcile each individual to his or her Creator.
Friel reveals the True Christ by highlighting archetypes in the Bible, which each point to Jesus Christ. For example, Jesus is the scarlet thread in the Old Testament; He is the Ark from Genesis; He is the tabernacle in the wilderness, the brass serpent, etc., etc.
These are powerful Old Testament pictures that point to the promised Messiah – the one Who came to take away the sins of the world.
Friel is especially effective pointing these out: “The New Testament Book of 1 Peter 3:18–22 tells us that Jesus is like that ark. Noah’s ark is a shadowy picture of Jesus and His work on the Cross:
The ark saved people from God’s judgment; Jesus saves people
from God’s judgment.
Those who were in the ark were spared from death; those who
are in Jesus are spared from eternal destruction.
The ark saved. Jesus saves.”
In his conclusions, Friel makes the following observation: “If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear, the Bible is axiomatic, and Jesus is not a preference. Jesus is not merely a good teacher. Jesus is not a fable or myth. Jesus is God.”
And that is the point of it all. In “Jesus Unmasked” the reader can decide for himself what he believes about this man from Nazareth.
The revelation is there if you want to see it.