NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – "Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?" The passage from Matthew 14 is one of 300 questions Jesus asked his disciples, the spiritual leaders of his day and the crowds who followed him to see his miracles, and those same questions are the subject of a new book published by TIME.
What Did Jesus Ask? contains reflections on 65 of those questions from leading spiritual voices in the church, such as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and some that have promoted doctrines contrary to the gospel, such as former Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell and Gene Robinson, America's first openly homosexual Anglican bishop. Bell has written that hell is not a punishment God will give to those who refuse to follow Christ.
Other notable contributors include Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, producers of The Bible television series, musicians Michael W. Smith and Chris Tomlin, and Eugene Peterson, author of The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language.
According to TIME's senior editor Nancy Gibbs, who wrote the forward to the book, TIME chose authors who "self-identify as Christians" in order to avoid deciding on which doctrinal or denominational traditions to discuss.
"Within that tradition, we sought diversity," Gibbs wrote. "The collection is ecumenical, uniting writes whose Christian spheres could not be more different. The contributors are Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelicals and Eastern Orthodox; men, women, LGBT, straight, black, white, Latino and Asian; musicians, painters, essayists, poets, theologians, producers, preachers and nuns. We found them everywhere from Gulu, Uganda, to London's Lambeth Palace to a far in northeastern Georgia in the American South."
The book is now available in bookstores and online.