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Featured Book: Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord. Way and Presence


In Freeing Jesus, historian Diana Butler Bass “describes how she has experienced Jesus in the roles of all the descriptions of him used in the book’s subtitle,” Bill Tammeus, once The Kansas City Star’s religion writer, explains.

Church historian Bob Cornwall puts it this way: “So, what we have before us in this book are the Jesuses that have spoken to Diana’s spiritual journey.” In it, she “tells her own journey—almost like a spiritual memoir—of knowing Jesus in different ways throughout her life. She calls her project ‘memoir theology,’” Hearts and Minds Books explains, which is “the actual doing of theology, informed by her life story.”

“Jesus wants a life outside of the church, and, indeed, wants to be free from all boxes we put him inside,” the Englewood Review of Books affirms in its review. “So,” Cornwall adds, “this is a personal act of liberation.” This is an effort to set Jesus free from “denominational and tradition-bound constraints,” Hearts and Minds warrants.

In the book, author Amy-Jill Levine sees Butler Bass inviting all who feel “caged by doctrine, silenced by tradition, or afraid of doubt…to find Jesus on their own terms, and in their own lives.”

Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence
By Diana Butler Bass
HarperOne, 2021