“A first-person encounter with the Jesus who could have been is carefully researched and challenges tradition without disrespecting the biblical accounts.”
Publishers Weekly Select, December 2012
- Why should someone read this book?
Baker: Jesus Christ changed the world, and not just for Christians. Knowing who he could have been can make a great difference in the way any of us understands ourselves and others. Yet, most of us only know him according to very narrow perspectives, usually controlled by churches or other communities. The result is to sometimes miss the Bible’s amazing clues that invite us to broaden our minds. Through the power of imagination, I hope the reader will experience truth as new possibilities about Jesus Christ are revealed.
- Why did you write this book?
Baker: For some, the notion of limitation, failure, disappointment and even imperfection is shaming. Many Protestants and Roman Catholics, alike, have done much to foster this by de-emphasizing the humanity of Jesus in favor of the more ethereal Christ. Therefore, most churches emphasize the need for God (and others) to see ‘Christ in us.” My hope is that we don’t forget that God humbling himself to be one of us also means that we are invited to see ourselves in Jesus. Imagine the joy of discovering that our limitations, our imperfections, and even our failures were shared by Jesus Christ. Imagine the peace that might come if we would only believe that God considers humanity…in all its weaknesses…still worth loving. That’s why I wrote this book.
- Why an ‘auto’ biography?
Baker: Christianity is unique in inviting something of a blurring of identities between ourselves and Jesus Christ. I wonder if very many of us ever really imagined what it could have been like to stand in the sandals of Jesus for a moment…for a day, even a lifetime. We are surely invited to ‘know him better,’ and I can’t think of a more potent way of ‘knowing’ someone than to ask the question: ‘What it would be like to be him.’ Finally, as a literary device, first-person is the most intimate relationship between reader and protagonist. Why not invite an imaginative encounter with Jesus in the most intimate way possible?
- Who is publishing the book?
Baker: I’m pleased that Knigonosha Ltd of Kiev, Ukraine, is publishing the Russian language edition. In addition, Eksmo Publishing is negotiating a cooperative release in Russia. However, I have been advised by the publishing professionals with whom I’ve worked on other books that no American evangelical publisher will touch it. Apparently, the content is controversial enough to be considered risky for reputations. I’ve also made an assumption that the book is too orthodox for the ‘secular’ marketplace, leaving me somewhere in limbo. The emerging models of independent publishing are actually quite fascinating, so I’ve decided to release an ‘author’s edition.’
This novel is the product of four years of full-time research and writing. Baker’s commitment to historical research led him and his wife to a ‘boots on the ground’ hiking tour from Nazareth to Capernaum. (www. Jesustrail.com) His work was further enhanced by spending hours with Amer Nichols, the historian for Nazareth Village. A photo album of his research is available at his FaceBook page: C. D. Baker