Concordia Publishing House Releases Jonathan Fisk’s Latest Book
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Congregations are searching for the cure-all to increase their membership and cultural relevance. They are looking for just the right program or trick to bring people back to the pews. With all this searching, they are missing what’s right in front of them: Word and Sacrament.
“Unlike our fading postmodern echo, the first Christians were not in search of anything,” says author Rev. Jonathan Fisk. “They were convinced that they had already found it. They had a message. It made them fearless. And it was the fearlessness of their conviction that made them so compelling everywhere they went.”
The answer is not to move forward into change for the sake of change. The answer is to move back to the changeless—the words of Christ—and to focus on the unchanging Word of God and the Sacraments He has given us. In Without Flesh, Fisk shows readers how to be fearless and confident in proclaiming the Word of God. Instead of searching for a new tool to bring people to church, be fearless in proclaiming the Word.
What People Are Saying about Without Flesh
Jonathan Fisk comes of age in Without Flesh. His theses evidence a mature Reformational theology, galvanized by years of brooding over our technosocial, consumeristic culture and also by his extensive experience in pastoral ministry. His reflections coalesce in a passionate new work that’s hypercharged to motivate his readers to do something about a flaccid, passive, largely capitulated-to-culture Christianity that has rendered the message of Jesus indistinguishable from godless Humanitarianism’s ethic of neighborly niceness. But, Fisk says, that’s not the Gospel; it never was. Such a pathetic, this-world-is-all-there-is message shrinks before American Liberalism as if Jesus were dead and His Gospel were weak. At the heart of Evangelical Christianity’s surrender to today’s dictum that “human morality is good enough” is a loss of confidence in the truth of God’s Word and, significantly, the power of God’s Word proclaimed and sacramented. Think, then, of Without Flesh as a clarion call to the Church to be the Church, to Christians to be fearless in their possession of Jesus’ message of truth and hope. Christ is not dead. He is very much alive and very much in charge. It’s time to live and speak in light of that reality, just as St. Paul in pagan Imperial Rome, just as Martin Luther in political Roman Catholicism. It’s time to push back against zeitgeist with the Spirit of Christ. Blending the reckless allegiance to Christ by the Church Fathers with the boldness of Luther and Hermann Sasse’s prescience, Jonathan Fisk urges “old-fashioned faithful grit” because Christianity cannot die, because Jesus is not dead, because Christ is in fact the world’s rightful King.
John J. Bombaro, PhD, King’s College, University of LondonDirector of Theological Education for Eurasia, Rīga Luther Academy, Latvia
To a Church cowering in the corner, Pastor Fisk’s Without Flesh bursts into the room with a dazzling light. It rallies us. It emboldens us. “Don’t be afraid ‘This is My body! This is My blood!’ These words of Jesus still stand true!” The Church finds her life in hearing these words and eating this flesh. This book gives boldness and courage by fixing our ears and our lips on the Word made flesh for us.
Why had so many in Corinth become weak and ill? The same reason faith dies in those who cling to a faddish, false, and crossless “Christianity” today. Rev. Jonathan Fisk’s Without Flesh is a surgical exploration of the cancer afflicting much of nominal Christianity today: doubt in, disuse of, and lack of trust in the words of Christ that established the Lord’s Supper and in the life-giving forgiveness and medicine of immortality He gives according to His promise. Poignant and pithy, bluntly honest and boldly faithful, Without Flesh will point readers to the Word made flesh, Christ Himself, who creates, nurtures, and resurrects faith unto life everlasting.
Rev. Paul Cain, editor of Lutheran Book Reviewsenior pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming
Amid Protestant and Gnostic denials of the absolute validity of the divine Word and the miracle of Jesus’ Holy Supper, Pastor Fisk cautions us to examine the easily misused call to “change or die.” He marshals the Rock of Horeb (1 Corinthians 10), the three who bear witness (water, blood, and Spirit), Jesus’ great “I am” statements, and more, trumpeting the call to “change back” to the present and enduring coming in the flesh that Jesus does in the Sacrament.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Wieting, retired LCMS pastorauthor of The Blessings of Weekly Communion andLutheranism 101: The Lord’s Supper
About Jonathan Fisk
Reverend Jonathan Fisk is senior pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School in Rockford, Illinois. He is known for his work on YouTube and in radio media, as well as for his books, Broken: 7 “Christian” Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible and Echo: Unbroken Truth. Worth Repeating. Again.
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For 150 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers over 10,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.