27.9.10

"About You" By Dick Staub


Dick Staub, About You: Fully Human, Fully Alive. Jossey-Bass, 2010. 194 pgs. 

About You is, not surprisingly, about you.  It is about you in the sense that it is about all human beings.  Staub's thesis, a quote from Hans Rookmaaker, is on the cover: Jesus didn't come to make us Christian, Jesus came to make us fully human.  Staub, then, offers a theological anthropology of what it means to be fully human and that Jesus has called us to this.  He begins with several chapters exploring the idea that we all long for something better, that we know we were made to be more.  He then has three sections: one explores the fall of mankind and resulting death, the next the path to becoming alive, and the third how we can be made new.

Lately there seems to have been a spate of new books published which attempt to redefine and re-explore the gospel.  I have reviewed several of them, and another is on the way.  Mostly, they are disappointing.  Meanwhile, Staub, in a book which advertises no such thing, has done a better job of presenting the gospel in non-Christian language, in a new light, and in an appealing manner than any of these other attempts.  

Obviously, About You, does not incorporate a full theological exploration of the gospel and all its facets.  However, as far as the gospel is about you, Staub has nailed it.  The parts of the gospel which are not about you are present in Staub's book, if perhaps a bit to subtly for my taste.  For example, the idea of serving others comes up in a brief paragraph at the end of the book and that is all.  The danger of this book is that it could easily be read by people who are already completely self-focused and they would likely miss the parts of the book meant to pull our focus off of ourselves and onto God and others.  This is not so much a criticism of Staub, as one cannot write a book for everyone, as it is a warning about the content of the book.  The language and focus lend themselves to this problem, but do not create it.  

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Staub has combined the insights of some of the greatest Christian thinkers, both recently and throughout history, to present a clear and appealing presentation of parts of the call of Jesus. 

Conclusion: 4 out of 5 stars. Recommended. 

2 comments:

Dick Staub said...

Thank You. You got the point of the book and I appreciate it!

Andrew said...

Thank you also, both for taking the time to read my review and for the encouraging response.