“Many [have] lost sight of Jesus.” So said Ellen White more than 100 years ago. Might the same still be true today? Many are saying “yes,” recognising their deep longing for an experience with Christ. But can we afford to encounter anything but the complete Christ?
Explore the major facets of who Christ is and what He means to us, and – in turn- use the lens of Christ to re-discover scripture. Read and understood rightly, Adventist beliefs and biblical understanding show us the fullness of Jesus-and Jesus fills theological doctrines with a beauty they were always meant to show.
The better part of valor leads Shawn Brace to hold back, until his epilogue, what he might quite zealously have unleashed on his deserving readership from the beginning. Instead, Brace’s introductory remarks arrive through a guest-written foreword whose author is identified only by the signature at the end of his piece. Squandered purchase! Brace fails to exploit the market value of this alternative cover: “There’s More to Jesus, with a foreword by Dwight Nelson, Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrews University.” More, Brace might have included his own humble prelude detailing his indebtedness and expounding on his gratitude to his former professor. It would all have been quite credible.
But the credibility Nelson and Brace pursue is thoroughly unrelated to market advantage. What they crave for us is holy fire, kindled in our bosom as it once was more than 130 years ago in the bosom of a young doctor under a rain-drenched tent at a California camp meeting in 1882. It changed his world. It is still changing lives.
Nelson and Brace share this book because they crave for us what God gave that youth, and what He has given them. They want us to catch the vision of the fullness of Christ that shines out of the 181 pages this book. What Nelson saw, reading Brace’s 22 chapters, on Jesus the Lover, Creator, Covenant-Keeper, Liberator, Judge, and all the rest, so revolutionized Nelson himself that now his one prayer for readers is that we too “choose to embrace this vision of the fullness of Christ” (p. viii).
And there’s the catch: we’ve heard all this before, and often, about needing the fire-tried gold, white raiment, and eyesalve so we can see and experience and reveal the full beauty of truth as it is in Jesus. Every Laodicean has heard all this many times before. So what’s new about Brace extolling “all of Scripture,” “Christ alone,” and “all of Christ”?
It’s at least 500 Reformation years old. Precisely Brace’s point, made at the end. It’s his altar call: hearing gospel truth and finding gospel in our history is not unusual for Seventh-day Adventist theology, he says.
But we know that something is still missing: earth is not yet ablaze with the glory predicted in Revelation 18. Brace doesn’t claim to have all the answers. What he does share is worth every minute of your reading. You’ll thank him and thank God for the sanctifying blessing of this book that draws you tightly close to Jesus.
There’s More to Jesus: Encountering the Fullness of Christ in Adventism, ispublished by Signs Publishing, Victoria, Australia.
Lael Caesar is an associate editor of Adventist Review.