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Sunday, April 16, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Did you feel the earth move on Saturday when the world’s oldest living person died?


Neither did I.

Emma Moran lived through 117 years of wars, inventions and changing civilizations, and was undoubtedly loved by many in her native Italy. She was also the last verified survivor of all humans born in the 1800s.

Yet life rolls on for the rest of the world, not affected in the least by such a tremendous human feat.

If you die last, you win; or at least that seems to be the logic when enemies spar and nations war. You’ve probably also heard the saying, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Is the number of our days or the affluence therein really all there is to life? If so, then our only hope is in ourselves and our purpose ends with our last breath.

Much of the way we view the world and interact with others is based on that self-centered view. And many are largely shaped into it by our emotional reactions to what we read and hear through our consumption of hours of media.

Information comes to us at warp speed, and we do little to validate its authenticity. Scrolling through endless websites or watching television, even “educational” or “news” programs, is an inefficient way to gain real truth or develop a reliable pattern of understanding for our lives. But we just can’t seem to get our fill of that low-quality “information.”

All the while, our Bibles sit dusty on our shelves, ignored and unexamined, though they offer substantive, historically valid, life-altering truth.

In his compelling new book, “The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels,” David Limbaugh challenges us to examine Christianity’s central figure through the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — the men who wrote the first four books of the New Testament.

The brilliance of Mr. Limbaugh’s book is that it creates a thirst for the Gospels themselves.

“My goal is to introduce readers to the true Jesus of the Gospels, not the Jesus depicted by the popular culture who is milquetoast, nonjudgmental and uncontroversial,” he told me. “I believe if a person reads the Gospels with an open mind and open heart, he will encounter the living Son of God. It is mind-blowing.”

Mr. Limbaugh reminds us that going to the primary source also frees us from having to rely on third- or fourth-person accounts, and from having to sort through other people’s spin and biased opinions.

Those who earnestly study the books he points to will find that they provide a welcome relief to the mercurial slop of the internet. The truth of who Christ is and of what he means to our individual lives awaits the reader through the living, breathing, powerful Word of God.

For those who might find it a bit intimidating to open the Bible and just start reading, “The True Jesus” paves the way for a fulfilling and personal exploration of the Gospels. Mr. Limbaugh includes long discourses from Jesus, 72 pages of well-researched and documented endnotes, and commentary on the context of virtually every event and speech in the Gospels to help readers relate to their significance.

“The New Testament presents Jesus as God in the flesh, a human being who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, perfects the Old Testament offices of prophet, priest and king, and becomes the perfect once-and-for-all sacrifice and the culmination of God’s salvation plan for mankind,” Mr. Limbaugh says.

And that is enough to truly rock your world.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@rebeccahagelin.com.


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