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For Christ's Sake [Paperback]

By Tom Harpur (Author)
Our Price $ 11.40  
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Item Number 148691  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.21" Width: 5.25" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1993
Publisher   McClelland & Stewart
ISBN  077103945X  
EAN  9780771039454  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of May 24, 2017 11:21.
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Item Description...
This radical book reveals the real, historical Jesus - and reminds us what he actually said.
Who was Jesus Christ? Was he God in human form? Was he the divine Son of God, conceived by a virgin, who came down to earth to found the one true religion? This is what the Church has been preaching since the Middle Ages, but the Church's portrait is a far cry from the Jesus Christ described in the New Testament.
"For Christ's Sake" is Tom Harpur's classic study of what the Bible actually tells us about Jesus. Controversial and radical, in that it goes to the roots of what is "known," Harpur's book strips away the mythology about Jesus to reveal a man whose message is still fresh and relevant today.

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More About Tom Harpur

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! A former Rhodes scholar and professor of New Testament studies at Wycliffe College, Toronto, Tom Harpur is also an Anglican priest. He resigned from parish work in 1979 to write full-time in the mass media, in the process extending his parish to the whole of Canada. His work in newspapers, television, and his books, notably "For Christ s Sake" and "Life After Death," have consolidated his reputation as one of Canada s pre-eminent religious voices and as a sound spiritual guide for modern times.

"From the Hardcover edition.""

Tom Harpur currently resides in Toronto. Tom Harpur was born in 1958.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology   [1535  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Message Over The Medium.  Aug 2, 2006
In "For Christ's Sake" Tom Harpur argues that Jesus was not God, a second person of a Trinity, or a pre-existent Son of God. He was a Prophet, Harpur says. His mission was not primarily concerned with freeing humanity from sin but from our major problem: Fear. Jesus also was not interested in forming a new religion although one grew out of his disciples beliefs about him. Rather, he wanted to radically reform Judaism. Although he wasn't unique in being the "God-Man" he has been made out to be, Harpur argues that Jesus was unique in that he was more fully open to and aware of God's Spirit than anyone before or since and this profound trust in God by Jesus was proven justified when God raised Jesus from the dead. God, writes Harpur, "says "yes" to humanity, a "yes" of wholly unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance". Along the way Harpur takes issue with the doctrine of the virgin birth, the infallibility of the Bible, the theory of Atonement, and the belief that the only way to God is through Jesus, among other closely held beliefs of the orthodox. The major problem with Christianity, Harpur believes, is that Christians have come to focus on the medium--Jesus--rather than the message he came to proclaim. This has weakened Christianity and he argues that it is not what Jesus himself preached.
This is an interesting read but there is the tendency for Harpur to be a 'picker and chooser'. Passages in the Bible he likes he stresses as literal, the rest he argues are either symbolic or wrong in one way or another. He does this in all his books; although what Christian author doesn't pick and choose to some extent at least? What is important for Christians of today and of any age, says Harpur, is to find out who Jesus is for us today. This book presents one man's view.
So Jesus is what you think he is?  Feb 26, 2005
This book I have once read more than a decade ago. The bookmarks I put in then help me when I am now reading once more. Thought provoking but be forwarned! Basically this book would appeal those with liberal approach to the Bible and the Christian belief. (If they are whay they are, they may not even this one to read. You can choose what you like and pick from the Bible and throw away the texts you don't like to hear.) The basic assumption of this book is not different than to that of the gang of 'Jesus Seminar' who published the infamous `Five Gospels' years ago.
To see Jesus, he wants to let aside the rest of the Bible other than the four Gospels. It will please those who want deny or just get out of the unbelievable stories of the miracles and, more over, the meaning of miracles. All these are, according to this former Anglican priest in Canada, just myth reconstructed from the setting of the church being organized in the first century A.D. (Note that the publisher or the book does not give enough detail of who this writer is or has been.) His biblical knowledge seems lacking accuracy. Quotes the bible texts, some in his own translation, are distorting, if not outright wrong. Understands the text poorly; claiming that the Apostle Paul's Gal 4:14 as 'clear reference to Christ as an angel.' (Jehovah's Witness may like this one). Fails to understand the meaning of the core doctrine of Trinity (this is not a dead dogma!) and flatly discards it. He threw out divinity of Jesus Christ. (smacks of Arianism). His understanding of sin and atonement is abysmal.
For him, everything in the Bible which the logical (science-oriented) modern mind cannot understand or accept is just myth, that is, fabrication. With all these unnerving things he expressed in his liberal theological bent - then why I am reading it even again? We have to know that one cannot do something about them unless one reads and study something written by them, be it ideology, politics, religion; one cannot defend oneself unless one knows the opposite camp. This book did help me to see the problems in the organized church throughout history as written by the one with the liberal (or revolting against the orthodox) but shallow view. He rightly criticized the danger of the fundamentalism (Catholic, Protestant, non-Christian), the system of priestly caste, the doctrines such as transubstantiation, and the practice of Mariolatry in the Catholic Church, etc.
He advocates discarding the infallibility of the New Testaments; I wonder whether his own understanding or interpretation of the Bible, or some other liberal views, becomes the guiding principle. Then there would be nothing absolute left. He says Jesus was/is unique not because He was divine but He was human more fully than we are. If this kind of his arguments appeals to you, you would give five stars for this book as some already done. If one want to draw out the source of life in the eternal word of God, with all the books in the Bible in harmony and meaning to our life, and does not accept as a mere human writing to fit the church agenda, and He is more than divine, one would give one star for this book as I do.
As a footnote, we have to learn more about and appreciate the Judaic origin and background of our faith which has been lacking for two millennia in the history of the Christianity. From their on, anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism has thrived and wrecked havoc in the human history. In a sardonic way, in addition to Darwinian doctrine of evolution (Not scientifically proven theory at all!), the modern liberalism owes to this neglect on Jewish heritage of Jesus life and teaching. The fundamentalism he disparages in his book is just a reaction to this liberalism.
As to the translations (versions) of the Bible to choose, one should not rely on only one, even King James Version. Get the more modern literal version for study along with others to help out the difficult texts and decent commentaries. As for me I use an interlinear version to get down to the original language, and it has been indispensable. Please don't take an easy road with `easy read' versions and paraphrases and water-down liberal theology. Jesus is not what he (ex-Anglican priest) or the gang of Jesus Seminar thinks He is. Anyone taking away anything from the Bible or adding anything to it is liable to judgment from God. Community of believers (ekklesia) is essential and tradition with all its faults and warts helps; but let the Bible be our final authority; not discolored by the opinion of those who accepts only why they can stomach. May our Elohim have mercy on them.

For Who's Sake?  Jun 5, 2002
Early on in this book (p. 14) Tom Harpur states, "Clearly, then, we need to be wary of those who would set forth the alleged psychology of Jesus or venture to tell us precisely what all his motives and intentions are." He then spends the rest of the book doing just what he has warned the readers against. "(Jesus) did not think..." "(Jesus) was as aware as anyone could be that..." "(Jesus) better than anyone else knew..." "Jesus understood..." "We can infer that he meant to say..." "We know he must have..." "Jesus himself probably....." "(Jesus) sees himself as...." "(Jesus) would have been shocked and offended by..." "It is clear... that such a thing would have scandalized (Jesus)..." "the idea of speaking in a literal or factual way about God was totally foreign to Jesus." "Here, as nearly always, Jesus is speaking spiritually...." "this was how Jesus understood himself and his entire ministry.." ..." "Thus we can define the intention or mission of Jesus as..." and so on.
Tom Harpur has his own version of Jesus and will do anything necessary to make it seem plausible, no matter whom he has to discredit to do so. The writers of the New Testament are not exempt from his vilification. Thus Mark `invents' and John puts words in Jesus' mouth in order to achieve his hidden agenda of one-upping Judaism. Both Luke and Matthew "followed a natural impulse" to add "pious embroidery" here, added to Jesus's words to clarify there, and re-interpreted Old Testament verses, "even if it meant taking them out of their original context and twisting them" to fit their purposes. The Apostle Paul wrote not truth but "mythological construct"; the earliest Christians "began to weave around Jesus every exalted Messianic concept available," and all of them made "the Jesus of history...a cosmic quasi-deity the realm of theological speculation and of myth."
Next, the established church - Roman Catholic, Anglican, Reformed Protestant, Fundamental Evangelical - all who dare to believe the Bible and profess Jesus as God - are lumped together and attacked. According to Mr. Harpur, they are "obsessed with sex", "have more credulity than common sense" "want to avoid thinking for themselves" "at one time or another justified every possible crime against humanity"; have committed "horrible acts of violence"; possess an "archaic and anthropomorphic attitude" and "a deep anti-social bias"; spout "ecumenical rhetoric and doublespeak", "silly speculation...",and "a theology of hostility" whose "basic concepts... are irrelevant and incomprehensible...and "distort the good news preached by Jesus" ; "preach a diety who masqueraded as a man and only pretended to die" and are responsible for everything from the Holocaust to "the torments and divisions the world suffers today."
This leaves the reader with a dilemma. If we cannot believe the Bible, the Apostles, the early believers, or the church, who can we trust? Mr. Harpur wants us to trust him and his version of Jesus, which he introduces with phrases such as " As I realized..." "What quickly becomes apparent...""It is significant that.." "What can be surmised..." "There is no other way to take this passage that makes sense" " We have to see..." "We need to see..." "The important thing to remember is..." "I cannot accept..." "I can't help but conclude..." What he concludes and presents as truth is not, after all, that Jesus was not divine, but that the same divinity he possessed is within and at the core of every human being.
Mr. Harpur remains a member of the Anglican church, though he denies its teachings and despises its rituals, believes that it distorts who Jesus was and what He came to do, and that its prayer and creeds "legitimized relationships of hostility, isolation, and defensiveness towards other denominations and other points of view within the Christian church itself." He continues to take part in its communion service, with its "long wordy ritual" that "mask(s) the reality of Jesus' intentions", "inevitable churchy perambulations... less relevant prayers...", "distortions of Jesus' original intention and action at his last meal with his disciples" and that he contends has caused "massive violence and bloodshed." Hardly the mark of an intellectually honest man whom we should trust our understanding of Jesus to.
A revelation about the true, loving spirit of God  Apr 8, 2002
I've just returned to Christianity after many years away, yet could not reconcile myself to the notion of an angry god demanding part of Himself to die on a cross for people's sins. I remembered reading For Christ's Sake years ago and enjoying it, so I read it again. What a revelation! With compassion and intelligence, Harpur shows, repeatedly and through investigating the New Testament, why Christ is not and never was God in the flesh. After much reading of other Christian writers -- and through his own training and education (he's an Oxford-trained, Anglican minister) -- Harpur suggests a loving, positive reason for Christ's death and resurrection. It's a reason I can easily understand and joyfully accept. And that brings me fully back into the fold of Christianity. If you have questions, if there are things that you don't understand or things that you find repugnant about aspects of Christianity, READ THIS BOOK. It won't take long, but you might finish it the way I did...with tears in my eyes and saying a prayer of thanks to God.
Page turner  May 7, 2001
I have read the book twice. It is hard to put down. Mr Harpur makes you think - even if you dont agree with all of his points you will have gained a tremendous insight into the gospels. My faith has been kicked into overdrive after reading this book and his other book "Thinking persons guide to God". Thank you Mr Harpur for putting into words what I have been tring to express.

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