A Jesus to fit our culture
Book review by Tom Ryerson
April 21, 2012
A Western Jesus: The Wayward Americanization of Christ and the Church by Mike Minter. B&H Publishing Group, 2007. 248 pp.
Mike Minter is the founding pastor of a large reformed Bible church in Virginia. In this his first book, he offers many careful but pointed thoughts in a relaxed and common-sense manner concerning the Christian culture in America. Pastor Minter says, “No one fights over the issues we fight over here… I have worshipped in a Russian prison, in the jungles of Bolivia, in big cities, in fancy auditoriums, and in the suburbs. I once spoke in a church in New Hampshire during the winter. The wood to feed the potbelly stove was stacked behind the pulpit.”
Frequently using the term “the transcendent Christ,” Rev. Minter seeks to point out cultural hang-ups and the habits of human nature and to remind us that the real Jesus is for every generation in every location in the world. In one instance for example, he notes that while some extreme Pentecostal believers may say “God told me…,” a reformed believer may say “I got a great insight from the Scripture today,” all the while speaking primarily of the same thing. He points out various ways that culture, tradition, and scripture collide, and replacement gospels are preached. Rev. Minter reminds us that every person has some kind of theological bias when interpreting Scripture.
A Western Jesus has many good thoughts for reflecting on the state of Christian culture today and could be good reading for Christian leaders who want some ideas on cutting through the cobwebs of culture to be reminded of what is important.