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A Portrait Of Jesus, A


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About the Author

Joseph F. Girzone retired from the active priesthood in 1981 for health reasons and then embarked on a successful second career as a writer and international speaker. In 1995 he established the Joshua Foundation, an organization dedicated to making Jesus better known throughout the world. His bestselling titles include Joshuaand Never Alone. He lives in Albany, New York.


Popular novelist Girzone (Joshua) uses his considerable storytelling skills in an imaginative retelling of the Gospel stories. Girzone opens his account of the itinerant preacher Jesus by asking the question, "What did people see in Jesus?" According to Girzone, Jesus was not a holy man who went "around Nazareth asking everyone if they were saved, and forcing religion" on them. Rather, according to Girzone, Jesus was popular simply because he understood human shortcomings, didn't judge people because of their flaws and accepted them on their own terms. In short, Girzone argues, people saw in Jesus a beautifully balanced human being with a sense of humor. Girzone examines the way that Jesus approached others and what Jesus' actions tell us about how we can live our lives today, arguing that there is an earthy quality in Jesus' spirituality. Girzone's Jesus was a warm, personable and understanding man who, with a nod and a wink to human foibles, succeeded in balancing the needs of humanity with the demands of divinity. Yet, despite Girzone's sincere wish to bring Christians into deeper intimacy with Jesus, his gentle, holy fool of a Messiah will leave others shaking their heads in disbelief at such a naïve, watered-down portrait of Jesus. (Sept.)

Retired priest Girzone, author of the best-selling Joshua stories, gives a simple narrative account of Jesus' life, envisioning facets of the person reflected in the gospel stories and painting a lively portrait of a man who understood human frailty to its depths. Girzone's admiration for the unconditional love of Jesus gives him cause on occasion to be critical of conventional church morality. This will appeal to readers who want a devotional approach to Jesus' life rather than an examination of his ministry on Earth through careful biblical study. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/98.]ÄBernadette McGrath, Vancouver P.L.

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