Reviews - What do customers think about Training for the Marathon of Life: Choosing Jesus as Our Life Coach?
Jesus' Plan for The Good Society Apr 24, 2006
The book aims to help the reader to discover how a plan for living with strong and realistic goals, leading to personal fulfillment.
(I), The idea of choosing a coach for the "marathon of life" comes from Socrates' illustration of the marathon runner who is looking for a trainer. This idea led the author, an agnostic at the time, to choose Jesus of Nazareth as his life coach with major personal consequences. Biblical scholarship since Jefferson's "Life and Morals of Jesus" is outlined, with reference to the search for the authentic words of Jesus. The ongoing work of biblical discovery is detailed, with the story of the Gospel of Thomas, which the author uses in the book. The work of the scholarly Jesus Seminar provided the basis for the book's selection of Jesus' core sayings. A brief outline of Jesus' teaching about the good society of God's kingdom ends the first section.
(II), Jesus' teaching, translated by the author, follows with his commentary (and appendix notes). The sayings and a summary follows: The Kingdom of God: Jesus' Prayer; What is the Kingdom?; When will it come?; What will it change? Values for the Kingdom: The Great Hope; Basic Attitudes; Giving up Power and Wealth. Personal Qualities needed in the Kingdom: Shrewdness; Persistent Patience; Honesty and Integrity; Openness; Care for others; Forgiveness.
(III), Issues arise from Jesus' teaching. Utopian ideas are compared and the quest for a reformed society reviewed. Jesus, takes a grass-roots view of the changes needed to bring in a Good Society. His challenge is personal, and our success will be measured in relational not in material terms. Chesterton's claim that Christianity has never really been tried, is true. Christians see Jesus as a Savior but downplay his social teaching. But he put his finger on the right way to renew society, in terms that are as relevant today as when he first taught. Some followers have truly put the teaching of Jesus into practice, and they have clearly shown success in working for the creation of a Good Society. Like marathon runners we all need inner motivation and companionship for the race of life. Detailed suggestions are given how we may form small groups of people dedicated to the practical work of the Good Society. We have the right coaching for the race in the teaching of Jesus and can be successful in running our own marathon, having personal satisfaction at the end of life. (The appendix includes a bibliography.)