Monday, August 2, 2010

Books in the Bubble -- Jesus-Shock!

I am not sure who has enough time to read books these days, including me, but I crave it. I've got shelves full of great books, most of which I will never actually read this side of Heaven.

That bums me out, because I want to read them all!

Still, I have occasionally found time to read those rare books which grab my attention quickly and leave a lasting impression.

Because you might also have limited time and patience, Books in the Bubble is born! This latest Bubble feature will offer "don't waste my time" book recommendations. 

Soooooo, have you been shocked -- I mean really shocked -- by Jesus lately?! 

I have. I just read, Jesus-Shock, by Peter Kreeft. The title got my attention, and that's basically the whole point of the book -- to get our attention!

If you are not utterly shocked by your encounters with Jesus Christ -- in Scripture, in Sacrament, in everything -- then your faith and existence need a jump start. In the comfort and affluence of America especially, we Christians have become complacent (I know I have). This book will shake you up and re-introduce you to the God-Man who walked the earth 2000 years ago, truly present, and who still dwells in our Tabernacles today, truly present.

The book starts with a quiz (which I failed), and then goes on to tell you why and how Jesus Christ has shocked, stunned, amazed, frightened and/or horrified everyone He's ever come in contact with. Not exactly the "nice," bland, milquetoast "community organizer" Jesus we see thrown at us by the secular culture and even within our own churches. 

If you aren't shaken to your core by the glory and power of Jesus, then you haven't been paying attention. You haven't met the Jesus of the Gospels, the same One who comes to you in the Eucharist. Kreeft goes through a host of Bible passages, quoting the jarring reactions that come from those who encounter Jesus. Having it laid out like that really opened my eyes. I am so "used to" Jesus that I hadn't noticed that no one "got used to" Jesus in Scripture!

Kreeft spends the second half of this small book discussing the "Jesus-shock" we Catholics should be experiencing when we encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, both in Holy Communion and Adoration. Kreeft, a convert from Calvinism, makes some of the best, most succinct apologetics arguments for Catholicism that I have ever read (and believe me, I have read a lot of apologetics over the past 15 years!).

My only complaint? There are several typos in the book (which, as a former editor, bugs me!!), and the physical book itself looks like it was hurriedly put together. However, the work itself was not hurried, as it took the author ten years to complete (he wrote fifteen other books while still working on Jesus-Shock). Kreeft has written almost 60 books (many of you are familiar with his work), but he says that if he could only write one book, Jesus-Shock would be it. I can understand why.

*Update: I should note that the "shock" is not about getting us to have an "emotional high" about Jesus. It's definitely not about subjective "feelings".

Recommended for: Those who have grown complacent in their relationship with Christ, and who need to go back to the foundation of everything, which is the Person of Jesus.


  1. Cool! I want to read this!

    PS--Has Cecily given any more though to going out with my brother? :)

  2. PPS--the distance thing might be hard though, he is going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. But he's a catch--the second-cutest kid in our family (haha!!)

  3. I look forward to future book recommendations. I have heard good things about this book too. Maybe you could offer one of your recommendations as a prize for the Doctrinal quiz show posts - like for a really BIG DEAL (not every quiz I mean). Just a suggestion! I don't know what would constitute a big deal, but I will leave that to your interpretation. God Bless!

  4. Can I borrow it? I'll send it back :)

  5. Beth, of course!

    JBTC, that's a great idea, and maybe I could actually give away some of the books I never read, ha ha! :)

    Doctrinal Quiz Show coming up soon, by the way.... More holey soap to give away!

  6. OK- that was a fabulous review. I am running to (which is conveniently linked to me from a fabulous graphic!) to buy this book. You had me at "quiz". the give-away prize idea! HA! I'm going to start studying!! :)

  7. Love it! Please keep up the book reviews!! :)

  8. Wow, I always like Peter Kreeft, and I think I need this book. :) This may be a good one for after the wedding!

  9. After a review like that, even I want to read it. lol. :-)

  10. I will definitely be checking this book out! :)


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