Book review: Banned Questions about Jesus

by Christian Piatt and others


Let me say first that this is shaping up into a great series! This is the second book, following closely on the heels of Banned Questions About the Bible. As with book one, Piatt’s MO here is to collect a number of uncomfortable questions, typically issues that we would feel awkward about discussing with our pastor, and then pose the questions to contributors. There are fifty questions in each book.

While it deserves a five-star review in its own way, I found the second book a little different in flavor from the first. Book two is more inspiring and comforting, less thought-provoking. Less puzzle-solving and more opinions. Or maybe it just seemed that way.

Partly, the differing flavor is because some of the questions are simply impossible to answer with only a Bible in your hand! Was Jesus ever sick? How soon did he know he was divine? Was he ever wrong? Yeah, we all want answers to these questions, but who’s got them? Contributors in book two are forced to dig inside themselves, and discover what Jesus’ life really means.

But the book has its theological doozies as well. When Jesus participates in the Last Supper, doesn’t that mean he’s eating his own body and drinking his own blood? If Jesus had to die in order to save us from sin, how did he get away with forgiving people of their sin before he died?

As with book one, I loved it and hope to see the series continue!


  1. When Jesus shared the last supper with his disciples, he was instituting it; also, the bread and wine are SYMBOLS of his body and blood. Also, when he forgave people’s sins, it was to the individual whereas after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the earth was filledwith His prescence thereby allowing all peoples to recieve forgiveness of sins. There are conditions.

  2. Hi, Brian, thanks for contributing!

    ok, so you don’t believe in transubstantiation, that’s cool. But the question about forgiveness is, if Jesus could forgive sins without dying, why did he have to die? Your answer is that until the Holy Spirit was granted, Jesus couldn’t be everywhere at once, so he couldn’t forgive more than one person at a time? And that the Holy Spirit couldn’t be granted unless for some reason he died on Calvary?

    John’s Gospel actually does indicate that the Spirit couldn’t be dispensed until Jesus relinquished it on the cross. But why die on a cross, if suffering isn’t necessary to atone for sin? How about some painless poison?

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