By Wayne Holst
My Special Item is a book written about Jesus and
Christian faith by a skeptical journalist. I hope you
find it interesting.
Hopefully too, you will discover other helpful items
here this week.
A Journalist Explores the
Credibility and Impact of Christianity
by John S. Dickerson
Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI
October, 2019. paper. 301 pages.
$20.00 CAD. Kindle $10.00 CAD.
A first-of-its-kind book in a new generation, Jesus Skeptic
takes nothing for granted as it explores whether he
actually lived and how his story changed our world. You’ll –
– learn what heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. and
Harriet Tubman believed about Jesus
– discover how Jesus inspired women’s rights, education
rights, and modern hospitals
– see visual proofs of Jesus’s impact, never before compiled
in one place
– be inspired to continue Jesus’s fight for human rights,
justice, and progress
Jesus Skeptic unveils convincing physical evidence that will enlighten seekers, skeptics, and long time Christians alike.
In a generation that wants to make the world a better place, we can discover what humanity’s greatest champions had
in common: a Christian faith.
Author’s Words: (John S. Dickerson)
We all hunger to answer these same questions –
Who am I?
What am I worth?
Where will I belong and be safe?
Why do I exist?
I have seen that a person‘s answers to these questions
will shape the course of their life – for better or worse
leading to a life of freedom and joy or a life that seems
continually smaller and emptier.
I have seen firsthand that a person can be a world-
famous millionaire but still be restless and unfulfilled…
I have also seen that a person can be poor and unknown
but entirely fulfilled.
(As an investigative reporter I have seen how Jesus
and s belief in God has had considerable influence on
the way many people live.)
Even if Jesus was a myth, the recurring evidence of
changed lives was something I had to consider… many
of them demonstrated peace, significance, joy and
selflessness – all qualities that are exceptional across
the human spectrum…
(many factors led me) to set out to consider this Jesus.
I wanted to know if he actually lived and I wanted to
know how his followers had impacted Christianity…
Because I am an investigative reporter I applied a
factual and skeptical approach to investigate Jesus.
The result is a book that includes a variety of images
and hundreds of irrefutable facts. It is a resource that
is unlike anything I encountered in my study of Jesus.
I wanted to summarize academic and historical records
in a way that makes this information available for
everyone. Through it all, I never took off my skeptics hat.
This journey has taken me more than ten years and
has covered everything from ancient manuscripts to
modern individuals who claim to have been radically
– copied and interpreted from the Preface.
John S. Dickerson is a respected journalist,
a Millennial, and a bestselling author. His writing
has appeared in the New York Times and USA
Today and has earned dozens of honors, including
the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, given
by Tom Brokaw of NBC News and Christiane
Amanpour of CNN and ABC News.
Now convinced that Jesus launched the greatest
movement for social good, John has given his life
to join the cause. Today he serves as Lead Pastor
at Connection Pointe Christian Church in
Learn more at JohnSDickerson.com
Wayne Holst’s Thoughts:
A few things need to be said from the outset.
This book is published by Baker Books, an
American house with conservative evangelical
leanings, but it also publishes for what I might
call “thinking evangelicals.”
By that, I mean mainly conservative Protestant
American Christians who are not satisfied with
pat answers to old questions.
Whether I agree with the result or not, I tip my hat to
a publisher whose books ask hard questions and is
not satisfied with easy answers from any source.
A book like Jesus Skeptic is part of a long tradition
of evangelical books written by people who were
not trained in traditional theological language but
who claim to want “just the facts, ma’m.” That is,
the journalistic approach.
Such books from professional journalists have
been part of the evangelical repertoire for several
generations now. I like the idea because
journalists can report on reality as they see it
in ways that theological thinkers might miss.
That leads me to suggest that the author may have
a different understanding of such terms as facts, or
myths. Also, the weight he gives to the historical
record. People of different theological perspectives
place different meanings and emphases on all three
of these terms. It is worthwhile to study these
So, if I have a few reservations about promoting this
book from a theological perspective, why am I sharing
it with you?
Essentially, it is because I believe that the truth shared
here is worthy of consideration. It is worthy of debate
and deeper reflection.
A commitment to tell the story and proclaim the Good
News as the author understands it is reason enough
for my telling you about it.
I also consider it an honour that I continue to receive
requests for reviews from a number of evangelical
Christian publishing houses.
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
Wayne Holst’s Website, May 24, 2020