JESUS, AN OBEDIENT SON
Author MICHAEL R, PHILLIPS
Publisher DESTINY IMAGE PUBLISHERS
It would seem that this book arose from a spiritual crisis the author experienced many years earlier in his Christian life. He chose to write it later and has given us a short pithy book divided up into four parts. Phillips has been a prolific author and is based in Humoldt County California. He and his wife opened a Christian bookshop almost fifty years ago and that led to his emerging commitment to making available the writings of George Macdonald and also beginning a writing career of his own. Actually, this book ends with two appendices from the writings of Macdonald, these corroborate his main purpose in the four sections I mentioned earlier. The first section is the authors attempt to look at the life of Jesus as though lived out today. He endeavours to put himself in the picture of the gospel narrative as though being worked out today. He sees himself as called by “Jess” as he calls Jesus and the gospel story unfolds as he is carried along in his response to the calling. In the end “Jess” is gunned down and then rises again and appears to His followers and thus the main line of the story of Jesus is followed pretty well. Part 2 is entitled “I Want You” and brings us face to face with the calling wherewith Jesus calls us into following Him. Three main crossroads are identified in these chapters, the calling to follow, the calling to take Jesus as Lord and the final crossroad of “not my will but Yours.” Helpful short chapters carry the reader along and the truth of discipleship is well calibrated. Part three begins a simple study of Jesus as being an obedient Son. The mystery of the incarnation is sensitively approached. The growth of Jesus as a true man, not reliant upon some ‘extra’ but living wholly in the will of His Father gladly and the crisis of Gethsemane and calvary are focused upon. Part four is called Life in Christ and the reader must consider the necessity of becoming wholly one with the Lord through obedience of will. There is little mention of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit who enables obedience but emphasis on the commands of Jesus which are listed according to the number of times Jesus spoke them. This is an illuminating list. The author’s emphasis throughout is ‘do’ and don’t live on the edge, at a crossroads, obey and follow and so the empowerment from God will come. He avoids a salvation by works emphasis simply because salvation is not mentioned but ‘childship’ as he calls it is his focus. At points in these pages the author displays his adverse view of much that is going on in the Christian circles of today. We arrive at the conclusion that there is a serious missing of the mark of true obedient sonship in many churches today. He is not acerbic in these comments but actually nailing some things that need to be nailed.