Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel. By Luke Timothy Johnson. Harper SanFrancisco, 210 pp.
In an earlier book, The Real Jesus (1996), Luke Timothy Johnson criticized the style and self-promotion of the Jesus Seminar and questioned the methods and motives, if not the faith, of some of its members.
In Living Jesus he does not name the scholars, but they are present as the "historians" whose basic premise is that the church is mistaken in confessing that "Jesus is alive and powerfully if invisibly present to creation as its Lord." While Johnson's apologetic intent is clear, a confessional and autobiographical tone replaces the adversarial as he sifts the New Testament for a portrait of the Jesus who is "powerfully alive as Lord."