Second Hand Jesus
Reviewed by Teresa Konopka
“Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith” by
Glenn Packiam is a contemporary theological work. With casual frankness
and sophisticated erudition, Packiam states his case. According to him,
too many Christians are sucked into the vortex that is mainstream
Christianity. In his book, Packiam hopes to dislodge the rumors the
block one from living fully as a child of God.
Themes are mentioned as being fallacious. For example, many are under
the impression that God is a genie. Working miracles by the
prayer-load, many Christians merely seek God when they need something.
Packiam urges readers to seek God for His love, then requests. He also
notes that even the most devout Christian will have unanswered prayers.
After all, God does what He sees fit, in His own time. Every prayer is
heard by God, but He makes the final call. Another example is
self-righteousness. Too many Christians are under the assumption that
they are high and mighty. To them, they deserve to be saved. In
reality, humans are lowly and deserve nothing. It is by the grace of
God that Jesus died for humanity’s sins. Packiam implores readers to be
grateful to God for Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, not feel mightier
because of it.
Quotations from the Bible are present, as are quotes from famous
theologians; C.S. Lewis is a popular one. Many stories are interspersed
throughout to show how things can go wrong for Christians--and that
they should not lose hope. While some tales seem a bit dramatic,
Packiam’s notes in the back of the book back up his credulity. Also, at
the end of each chapter, there are a series of questions for the reader
to contemplate. In in fill-in fashion, these offer reflection after
Packiam’s words. Logical and relatable, Packiam’s book is a real