Why Don’t People Buy Books About Jesus Anymore?

Seeing the glory and grace of God in the person and work of Jesus is the most practical thing we can do if we want to live life well.

Perhaps our neglect of Jesus is because we assume we already know about him. ‘I learnt about Jesus in Sunday school.’ Heard it; done it; move on. Or perhaps it’s because today we want our books to ‘do’ something for us. We want a book on prayer so we can ‘do’ prayer. We want a book on the family so we can ‘do’ parenting. We want a book on the church so we can ‘do’ church. We want a book on Jesus so … What would a book on Jesus ‘do’ for you?

 

I love writing Advent books. The One True Gift is my third in three years. I’d happily go on writing them if they would let me. But they won’t. Apparently it’s someone else’s turn. I know, crazy!

‘But why do you love writing Advent books, Tim?’ I hear you say.

I’ll come to that in a moment.

But first let me talk about a strange phenomenon in Christian publishing: people don’t buy books about Jesus. Think about it. When was the last time you read a book about Jesus? Can you even name a book about Jesus? There are some academic books on the doctrine of Christ. But few books written about Christ for Christians.

It didn’t used to be like this. The person of Christ was a favourite topic for Puritan writers. John Flavel wrote Christ, the Fountain of Life. John Owen wrote The Glory of Christ. Isaac Ambrose wrote Looking unto Jesus. You get the idea.

Perhaps our neglect of Jesus is because we assume we already know about him. ‘I learnt about Jesus in Sunday school.’ Heard it; done it; move on. Or perhaps it’s because today we want our books to ‘do’ something for us. We want a book on prayer so we can ‘do’ prayer. We want a book on the family so we can ‘do’ parenting. We want a book on the church so we can ‘do’ church. We want a book on Jesus so … What would a book on Jesus ‘do’ for you?

But there is nothing more practical than knowing, loving and trusting Jesus.

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