In Magnificent Obsession (Christian Focus, 2013) David Robertson seeks, in ten concise ten chapters to explain why Jesus is great.
The chapters take the form of open letters, a device which allows Robertson to respond to issues raised writers such as Christopher Hitchens, along with other atheists and critics of Christianity from other backgrounds.
While I’m not the target audience of the book I appreciated Robertson’s efforts to focus on the person of work of Jesus as contained in the Bible. His aim would be for those who would disagree with Christians to have a clear understanding of what they’re disagreeing with.
Robertson quotes from a variety of Christian, atheist and philosophical sources, demonstrating a wide range of study and interaction with points of view other than his own, but firmly stays focussed on his target of explaining why he believes belief in Jesus as Saviour and Lord is credible.
The ten alliterative chapter headings: Man, Miracles, Messenger, Murdered, Marvellous, Meaning, Mission, Modern, Maranatha, and Magnificent don’t always give an idea about their content, but each time Robertson seeks to clarify the difference between the failings of the followers of Jesus, or misrepresentations and misunderstandings of his thought, and Jesus himself.
I appreciated the tone of Magnificent Obsession and find Robertson’s communication style respectful and positive. Most importantly his writing here is an encouraging example of developing a Jesus centred apologetic. This is assurance and strength of opinion here, but not stridency or abuse.
I don’t know how many of his critics will be swayed by the content of Magnificent Obsession. Atheists are not a monolithic group in their methods and tone of interaction, yet I’d like to think that many of them would find works like Magnificent Obsession worthy of consideration, if for no other reason that to have a basic treatment of what they disagree with.
My kindle edition of Magnificent Obsession was provided by Cross Focused Reviews as part of a Magnificent Obsession blog tour they are hosting. Provision of the Kindle edition did not require the provision of a positive review.