Reverend Terry Allan Christian’s What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master collects Christ’s actual words from the New King James Bible as an inspirational text for Christians to reference without immersing themselves in the Bible’s ancillary material. This decision intends to focus readers on Christ’s teachings; it never reflects any judgment on the value of the related material excised from this text. The brief snippets of bridging material wrought in blue, compared to Christ’s words in red, are never ostentatious but rather serve as transitional passages for readers to move from one dialogue to the next. Christian structures the book in a direct and comprehensible fashion that any believer will appreciate.
He, likewise, includes citations for where to find each quote in the Bible for those so inclined. It is likely anyone who reads this book is already very familiar with the location in the Bible of many entries in this text, but it is undoubtedly helpful for those who may not be and lends Christian’s work further scriptural authority. He adorns the book with low key and common for the genre visuals and graphics that further enhance its presentation. Some of these moments, like the “Footprints in the Sand” quote at the book’s beginning, will be very familiar to readers of Christian literature and sets an appealing tone for everything that follows.
Christian’s contributions to the book as a writer are, by his own admission, minimal. He views himself as a conduit for higher powers and merely the composer of a specific text rather than the author of its words. Evaluating his talents as a composer is an easy task. Christian lays out the presentation of What Did Jesus Say with obvious and deeply felt love and respect for the words of Jesus as documented in the Holy Bible. He deserves kudos for keeping himself out of the final effort as much as possible.
He builds the book in seven “messages” or “chapters” dealing with various concepts and topics. There are a few addendums after the main body of the book concludes: a final prayer, a section entitled “Mighty Words and Works of Jesus”, and another section titled “Conclusions in Christ”. They round off the book in impressive fashion and never hint at self-importance – Christian’s mission remains steadfast and clear throughout the whole of this book. What Did Jesus Say is brief, but there is enough in this book to sustain a person for their entire lives.
The aforementioned conclusions portion of the book allows Christian’s voice to come to the fore as never before in the book. He is humble but thought provoking and his abiding passion for spiritual matters is apparent in every sentence. The “About the Composer” portion of the book gives us more details about Christian and it becomes further apparent that he backs up his words with action as all good Christians are taught to do. What Did Jesus Say: The Seven Messages from the Master is more than just a welcome text for believers, but it could serve useful for someone just entering the church in need of a condensed chronicling of some of Jesus’ message.