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Reveiw of Baxter Kruger’s “Patmos”

I received a complimentary copy of Baxter Kruger’s  book “Patmos: Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation” as a part of the “Speakeasy” blogging network. I am not required to write a positive review, but only to express my own honest opinions. (This information is being disclosed in accordance with regulations from the Federal Trade Commission.)

I have been a fan of Baxter Kruger’s writings, audios, and ministry for several years.  You will find him referenced often throughout my blog posts.  Dr. Kruger is an eminent theologian, writer, and the Director of Perichoresis Ministries.   

Kruger’s skill as a writer allows him to communication profound theological insights in a folksy, easy to understand style that is readily accessible to most readers.  His theological works, several being linked at the conclusion of his book review, hold a place in my library where they can be referred to often.  His bestselling book: The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On Here than You Ever Dared to Dream, which  aided me in unpacking the rich theology behind Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack.  With a March 2017 release date of the movie rendition of The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity, I strongly recommend that Baxter’s “Revisited” be a must-read either before or after seeing the movie.   

 With Patmos, instead of writing heady theology with a gentle prose style,  Kruger writes a fictional story that is rich in theological inspiration. 

 Kruger challenges us to imagine what it might be like to meet the Apostle John for a long conversation.  What would such an exchange be like?  What would you ask?  What might he ask you?   This is the creative imaginary journey that stands as the backdrop for Kruger’s Patmos story.

 Dr. Kruger, being one of the world’s foremost leaders in Trinitarian Theology, and as scholar when dealing with the writings and theology John, communicates for us the rich theology of grace in this new book.  Kruger’s expertise in theology and John’s writings are evident behind Patmos’ riveting fictional account of a theologian named Aiden, who is worn out, dejected, and suicidal.  Mysteriously Aiden is transported to the Isle of Patmos where he meets the Apostle John for three days of conversation, fishing stories, and wonderful humor.

The exchange is a two-way street.  Aiden has thousands of theologically personal questions for John.  For his part, John wants to know of Jesus’ impact on the world of his future. 

The central questions in Kruger’s story are as follows: 

At the core of your being, how do you think God feels about you?

Is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit angry, disillusioned, or frustrated that you do not meet the legalistic standards of what is popularly called Christianity?

Or, perhaps, might God consider you the apple of His eye and the apex of all creation?

Obviously, Kruger seeks to lead us to a gentler picture of God than is communicated by much of popular religion.   His aim is that we see the scope and depth of God’s love for every single human being.  The message Kruger wants us to grasp is that we do not need to build a bridge toward God because of some legalistic code that otherwise might communicates a sense of estrangement.  Rather, the grace of God (reveal in scripture and the writings of Apostle John) tell us that God comes to us as one of us.  (“The WORD became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” John 1:14). 

Patmos is Kruger’s invitation to discover that we are not estranged from God.
  In fact, separation is a myth that is  real only in the imaginations of our darkened minds.  If we open up ourselves to the ever present reality of God’s inclusive grace (that’s called faith), which has been revealed in Jesus, then the light of God’s love will chase away the darkness.  (Or as John 1:4 writes:  In (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of all humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”)   

 

Patmos: Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation
by: C. Baxter Kruger PhD
publisher: Perichoresis Press, published: 2016-09-13
ASIN: 0964546574
EAN: 9780964546578
sales rank: 41755
price: $9.40 (new), $7.50 (used)

Aidan, a burned out, suicidal theologian from Mississippi mysteriously travels back in time to the Isle of Patmos, where he meets the aged apostle John. Thus begins an extraordinary 3-day conversation, with tormenting flashbacks to his childhood, mind-blowing visions and revelations, sorrow and joy.  Aidan has a thousand questions, St. John wants to know about history, but his abiding mission is Aidan’s liberation. Through love and dreams and astonishing discussions the wise apostle reveals the lie of all lies?separation from God?preparing Aidan for a life-changing discovery. Aidan has a vision of heaven and beholds the Lamb upon the Throne of all thrones, with the entire cosmos flowing from his side, leaving him speechless in hope. John proclaims, ‘In that day you shall know that I Am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you,’ as the secret of all waiting to be discovered. The Holy Spirit shares a vision with John of the next awakening in Western history, and the great apostle commissions the restored Aidan to preach the truth of all truths.

The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On Here than You Ever Dared to Dream
by: C. Baxter Kruger
publisher: FaithWords, published: 2012-10-02
ASIN: 1455516805
EAN: 9781455516803
sales rank: 5251
price: $3.79 (new), $4.00 (used)

Millions have found their spiritual hunger satisfied by William P. Young’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Shack–the story of a man lifted from the depths of despair through his life-altering encounter with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now C. Baxter Kruger’s THE SHACK REVISITED guides readers into a deeper understanding of these three persons to help readers have a more profound connection with the core message of The Shack–that God is love.

An early fan of The Shack and a close friend to its author, Kruger shows why the novel has been enthusiastically embraced by so many Christians worldwide. In the words of William P. Young from the foreword to THE SHACK REVISITED, “Baxter Kruger will stun readers with his unique cross of intellectual brilliance and creative genius as he takes them deeper into the wonder, worship, and possibility that is the world of The Shack.”

The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On Here than You Ever Dared to Dream
by: C. Baxter Kruger
publisher: FaithWords, published: 2012-10-02
ASIN: 1455516805
EAN: 9781455516803
sales rank: 5251
price: $3.79 (new), $4.00 (used)

Millions have found their spiritual hunger satisfied by William P. Young’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Shack–the story of a man lifted from the depths of despair through his life-altering encounter with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now C. Baxter Kruger’s THE SHACK REVISITED guides readers into a deeper understanding of these three persons to help readers have a more profound connection with the core message of The Shack–that God is love.

An early fan of The Shack and a close friend to its author, Kruger shows why the novel has been enthusiastically embraced by so many Christians worldwide. In the words of William P. Young from the foreword to THE SHACK REVISITED, “Baxter Kruger will stun readers with his unique cross of intellectual brilliance and creative genius as he takes them deeper into the wonder, worship, and possibility that is the world of The Shack.”

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
by: William P. Young
publisher: Windblown Media, published: 2007-07-01
ASIN: 0964729237
EAN: 9780964729230
sales rank: 81
price: $5.97 (new), $0.01 (used)

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!

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