This is a great book. It is readable, clear, to the point, and easy to follow. The content is solid as well. In this book, Kraus (a surgeon who has worked as a missionary) confesses his sin of making Jesus small and making himself big. That is the whole point of the book – when we wrongly view Jesus as less than the almighty, omnipotent God of the universe, we make ourselves big and everything goes to pot in our spiritual walk. The book is sort of like Your God is Too Small, Running Scared, and When People are Big and God Is Small all put together.
There are 17 chapters in this 200 page book. As I said above, they are very readable – great for the average layperson. Kraus talks about how he/we domesticate Jesus by our immature faith, pretend Christianity, wallowing in guilt, habitual worry, anxiety about the future, boredom in worship, pride, self-love, and reliance on our own strength (among other ways). These chapters are based on a fictional (but close to true!) story about a Christian family (feeble in the faith) going through a rough time. Kraus does an outstanding job weaving the story into biblical application for the reader.
I appreciated how Kraus kept going back to grace and the gospel. Basically, he says if we’re amazed at Jesus’ grace towards weak, helpless, sinners we’ll see how “big” he is and how tiny we are. That’s the key – living with the amazement of grace while saying, “What is man, that you are mindful of him?” Here are a few quotes.
“…That’s what this book is all about in the down and dirty. We’re small. God is big. Let’s be real about our need and his supply. The world doesn’t need a bunch of great Christians. It needs Christians who are real. Small people with a big God.”
“One of the largest stumbling blocks to Christianity is big Christians.”
“Subtly, for many Christians the self-made man syndrome has spilled into the church. Christianity is distorted into a celebration of my ministry, my service, and my worship. One false gospel of the domesticated Jesus centers around me. My testimony, my ability to do Christian stuff. It’s all about me. Christ is cherished for what he does for me.”
“This book isn’t a guarantee for an easy life. That would be presumptuous folly. When we take the hand of Christ in relationship, not only are we holding the hand of the Creator of the universe, we’re holding a hand scarred by nails. When we agree to follow him, he demands a life of sacrifice and promises suffering along the way.”