Friday, May 02, 2008

Identity Crisis - Part 1

I'm excited to say that my first book, The Discovery: Beyond the Jesus of Flapjacks and Grilled Cheese is in the production stage, and should be out in about a month or so. We had a tiny set-back in production, but now things are rolling. It's a 21-day devotional journey through the Gospel of John geared toward students and young adults. I'm pretty psyched about it! I'm praying that God will use it way beyond what I'm capable of doing in my own strength. It will be available on Amazon.com shortly after it's release next month. I'll keep you updated. But for now, here's the first of several posts I'll do using excerpts from the book. Also, in honor of Flashback Friday, this seems appropriate!

Chapter 8 - Identity Crisis

There’s no feeling that leaves you quite as vulnerable and helpless as having your identity stolen. A few weeks ago this happened to me. The sad part is, it wasn’t stolen. I gave it away. Like a bumbling idiot I gift-wrapped my identity and merrily handed it to a zit-faced hacker sitting in his mom’s basement. To my credit, the e-mail looked legitimate—the famous last words of many a victim of ID theft. But it did! It was two days before Christmas and I received one of those mass phishing e-mails that looked identical to other PayPal e-mails that I occasionally receive. I followed through with it, thinking that I was doing my duty as a privileged PayPal customer.

The instant I clicked send on the form I knew I had made a mistake. Call it instinct. Call it Firefox instantaneously popping up a bright red warning box with flashing skulls and slogans like “Death to the passerby” and “You idiot, you just funded a nuclear warhead aimed at a small island!”

“Wonderful,” I thought. “It’ll arrive just in time for Christmas!” I held myself close and rocked in the fetal position in the corner of the room.

I gave the world my identity—everything about me—everything important—all of it. It was out there—every bit of it. Nothing hidden. That’s exactly what John wanted. That’s what he wanted people to know about Jesus—everything. Nothing hidden. No misconceptions. This was his number one goal—that no one misses the real identity of Jesus—the ultimate discovery. This was his number one concern—more than my concern that America never loses its love and admiration for The Andy Griffith Show in the wake of reality TV and the I-bet-you-can’t-out-do-this-one mentality of television programming—more than my concern that brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts never go out of production—more than my concern that my kids understand that running around naked in our house is cool, but not so much out in public, and not so much fifteen years from now—more than my concern that my kids never take up playing in traffic as an extreme sport—and more than my concern that my kids never know or at very least never speak the name of the purple singing monstrosity Barney in our house as long as I live. As passionate as I am about those things, John was even more passionate about communicating Jesus’ true identity.

Over and over he reiterated this one essential truth. Again and again John drove home the point that Jesus is the Christ, the prophesied Messiah. And more than that, that Jesus is God wrapped in human flesh.

John 8:58 is a crucial verse in John’s depiction and increasing awareness of who Jesus is:

“Jesus said to them, ‘I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.’”

This is one of the clearest arguments for the deity of Jesus in the entire Bible. By using the title I AM, Jesus very clearly claimed to be God. He claimed for Himself the divine title found throughout the Old Testament.

5 comments:

Nyea said...

this is amazing fro! I can't wait until the book comes out. I'm so excited

Josh Via said...

Thanks Nyea! I can always count on you for moral support. I'm hoping that, since you like it, that's at least some indication that it will relate well to college students and young adults. That's my prayer anyway. Love ya.

Kelly Via said...

Fliz, this is a great post and sounds like the book is going to be great. Nicely written; I love all the personal details. Barney is not allowed here either.

Josh Via said...

Thanks Kell! We had a great time with you guys this weekend at Journey!!!!! Journey rocks my face off!!!

Chris said...

Josh

I put a comment and link about you new book on my blog. Check it out.

http://blogatbree.blogspot.com/

Griff