"1,000 Days", by Jonathan Falwell

Jonathan Falwell is the senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, and he has written a fine, simple book, "1,000 Days".  It surrounds several themes in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The premise of the book is this: Couldn't Jesus simply have come to earth and redeemed us by and performing the events of the Cross without enduring temptation, ridicule, religiosity, etc? Wouldn't it have been simpler just to perform His redemptive work, and then depart?

Falwell suggests, plainly, "No!"  It was necessary for Jesus to fully speak into the lives of everyday people with everyday needs.  And He didn't minister out of obligation, but out of love for people.  And it is during this 1,000-day ministry that Jesus performed His many miracles and great teachings -- for His Father's glory and our blessing.  Falwell reveals the good news very simply within several themes of Jesus' ministry, such as peace, forgiveness, hope, hell, joy, etc.

Quite plainly, "1,000 Days" is not a deeply theological, heavy tome. It contains surface level theology at its foundation and would be great for new believers to read.  But if you're looking for a "heady" challenge, this book is not for you;  you will bore rather quickly with it. 

LIKES: I truly appreciate how clearly Falwell presents the gospel of Jesus Christ in "1,000 Days".  He certainly presents our sin, our need of a Savior, and Jesus Christ as that Savior clearly.  In an age when many public figures prefer to shie away from difficult topics, Falwell confronts them head-on.  For instance, chapter 9, entitled, "Good News / Bad News", addresses the doctrine of Hell.  It's no easy topic, and many have danced around it.  Not Falwell.  The reader will be confronted face-to-face with the reality of a literal hell, and the reader will be forced to choose.  "The Bible gives us the accurate picture of hell, and it also is not pretty.  The Bible indicates that hell is a real place where real people spend a real eternity with real bodies." (p. 103)

DISLIKES: At times, "1,000 Days" was too simplistic.  For example, one statement I found simplistic and bothersome was found in chapter 4, "The Offer: Supreme Happiness".  While addressing troubles and persecution within the chapter, the best example Falwell could come up with was the owner of "Chick-fil-A" taking "some heat from various groups because of the company's position not to open its restaurants on Sundays." (p. 46)  Take some heat?  Really?  As followers of Christ around the globe are being executed for professing faith in Jesus Christ, this is the best example of persecution he could cite?

Another overly simplistic approach came when Falwell cited the passage where Jesus calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee.  Like so many -- dare I say lazy -- others, Falwell tells a fluffy story about how Jesus can calm the storms of your life.  Quite frankly, I think that approach is rather cliche.  I think the passage says so much more about the divinity of Christ and His power and authority over the demonic realm as well as over nature.  In chapter 5, "Smooth Sailing Versus Calmed Storm", Falwell writes, "Our part is always to turn to the One who is utterly calm in the middle of our storms, then One who can take all our troubled waters and calm them."..."On the other hand He promises us an abundant life with heightened happiness and that He Himself will calm our storms." (p. 57)

Overall, I think the "1,000 Days" is a good book for new believers.  It may even serve a good purpose in presenting a simple message of the gospel to seekers.  Additionally, each chapter concludes with a handful of questions to consider as an individual or in a small group setting.  The book concludes with a Bible Study guide through the themes presented in each chapter.

I give "1,000 Days" 4 stars, primarily because Falwell did not shie away from the hard topics.  I take a point away for being overly simplistic at times.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers (Booksneeze) in exchange for my unbiased review.  I was not threatened, coerced, or promised favors in exchange for a favorable review.  All opinions are mine.

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