A prominent attorney is contending against the representations of Jesus in popular culture by those who co-opt his name and words to support an agenda contrary to what he has said.
In The True Jesus: Uncovering The Divinity of Christ in the Gospels, laywer and New York Times best-selling author David Limbaugh, brother of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, maintains that the whole of Scripture is about Jesus Christ and that His words in the gospels are self-authenticating, the best witnesses unto themselves.
The Christian Post recently sat down with Limbaugh in Washington, D.C., for an interview about his eighth book. The True Jesus is a bit of a sequel to his seventh, The Emmaus Code, which is a primer of sorts that focuses on the centrality of Christ in the Old Testament. But in his latest work, Limbaugh takes readers on a journey through the first four books of the New Testament, thoroughly weaving together evidence for the divinity of Jesus while offering insightful commentary on Christ's message and great works along the way.
"Everyone knows that Christ is the focus of the New Testament but I wanted to present him and really heighten the focus on [him] showing his full humanity and full deity, and truly who he is, not the Jesus of popular culture," Limbaugh said.
Through the book's 12 chapters Limbaugh consolidates the four gospel accounts into a unified, roughly chronological story that makes substantive sense to readers curious about the gospel's implications. In every passage where the Lord shows up and in every speech he gave, like the Sermon on the Mount, Limbaugh pays careful attention to the text, regularly citing the words of Jesus verbatim.
The book does not, however, delve into theological particularities that have divided Christians over the centuries in an intentional effort to be as ecumenical as possible, the author noted.
"Not because I don't believe a certain version of the truth, I do," Limbaugh said. "What I'm saying is, I don't want to get hung up on matters that are non-salvation issues, and turn people off from the Gospel that could be brought into it. There's just no reason for denominational schisms in the context of this kind of a book."
But the author has no patience for the Jesus many on the Left frequently put forward to bolster their policy proposals, a theme he addresses considerably in his book.
"The popular culture wants to conform Christ to fit their worldly desires and attitudes when we in fact should conform ourselves to Jesus," Limbaugh stressed in the CP interview.
"They depict him, and co-opt and use him, exploit him, creating impostor Jesuses to fit their political agenda or their social agenda, even their social gospel."
And this is not, he reiterated, the real Jesus in the Bible.
"Not only did he not say he would bring peace in his first coming, not only did he not say that he would bring harmony and make your life easier, not only did he not say that he would promise health, wealth and prosperity according to their faith. He promised that the more you follow him the more trouble you would have. You would be persecuted on his account," he said.
Limbaugh, 64, told CP that when he was not a believer he thought that could figure out who God was through his own intellect. But his life changed when he realized that there was no need to reinvent the wheel. God has revealed Himself in the pages of the Scripture.
And the New Testament, Limbaugh contended, is a miraculous literary wonder.
In The True Jesus, the author highlights the historicity, literary genius, and theological depth of the New Testament's 27 books, drawing upon the scholarship of some of the respected theologians. He pays special attention to the consistency of the Old and New Covenants throughout Scripture.
The covenant God made with Abraham "contained the seeds of God's foundational promise that constitutes a unifying thread throughout the Bible — a promise of salvation grounded in God's grace that will eventually be consummated in the New Covenant. The New Covenant fulfills for all nations the spiritual promises made to Abraham and his descendants ... an enlargement of the Abrahamic Covenant and specifically of God's promise to bless all mankind through Abraham," Limbaugh wrote.
"The Gospels alone transport us to Jesus' world and reveal His distinctiveness. No other human being in history compares to him in any important way — He is manifestly God in the flesh."
And the Christian faith "is all about Jesus Himself, not just His teachings and wondrous acts. It is grounded in His person. Jesus does infinitely more than teach moral lessons. He is the message."
CP asked Limbaugh what he hopes readers will takeaway most from this book, particularly given the appeals he sometimes makes throughout its pages for readers to investigate the claims of Jesus for themselves.
"I believe that foremost the Bible is its own apologetic and if you immerse yourself in the Bible you will know that you are encountering the living Son of God. And it's unmistakable. No fiction writer could conceive such a character [as Jesus]."
"So what I really hope," he added, "is that this book inspires people to read [the Bible] — those who are too intimidated to have read it before — to give them some preliminary knowledge and an inspiration, excitement, passion, and enthusiasm, the gospels for themselves, and the whole Bible actually. And that by doing so they would come to have a relationship with the Living Son of God, Jesus Christ."
"Ultimately, even if it is just one person ... that they would accept Christ as their Savior," he concluded.