Jesus, Who Needs Him? So asks author and almost-priest Harold D. Renshaw in a book that is scathingly honest, witty and direct. For anyone who has ever wondered how it is possible to follow a religion based upon a man whose very ideals have been destroyed, altered and manipulated beyond recognition, this book is for you.
Using his background as a former seminary student and his years of fascination for religion and the life and teachings of Jesus in particular, Renshaw takes us right to the heart of why Christianity no longer works for most people. He uses many examples of how the teachings and intentions of Jesus have been hijacked by various political and religious leaders for their own motivations and agendas, and how millions, if not billions, of followers have blindly gone along with these agendas, turning Christ’s message into indecipherable drivel. Renshaw refers to these leaders and followers as Kristians, for they are not true Christians at all, but an unreasonable facsimile spreading intolerance, hatred, violence and oppression. These were not the teachings of Jesus.
Renshaw is direct, so direct that many Christians (or Kristians) will find this book offensive, but there is a reason for that. Any offense comes from the recognition of faults present in the reader, so be prepared! Be prepared as well for the witty drawings that accompany the text, and often drive the point home even faster than Renshaw’s own wise wit could. But those who are committed to emulating the true teachings of Jesus will cheer and be comforted that there are people out there writing books like this, books that open the door to a wider understanding of what Christianity was, has become, and could be.
By examining the ways that Christianity has gone way off track, and then working through the book of Mark in the latter section of Jesus, Who Needs Him? Renshaw does more than just tear down the walls of ignorance and religious bigotry; he presents an alternative concept of what Jesus really said, and who the writers of the Bible were in the context of the times they wrote in, shedding new light on what the stories might mean when not taken literally word for word.
I truly enjoyed this book, and laughed and nodded my head in confirmation throughout. The author is brave and honest, and does not mince words when it comes to his contempt for those who call themselves one thing, yet act like and believe something far different. If you have the courage to read a book that says something brutally honest, and may call your own beliefs and motives to task, go ahead and ask the ultimate question.
Jesus, Who Needs Him?