This is my favorite of all the books we have read thus far this semester, partly because of the beautiful and creative writing, but also for the need it filled in my spiritual understanding of the scriptures. I took a wonderful class from Stephen Walker called “The Bible as Literature.” In the class, Walker forced us to consider the “holes” in the scripture, pointing out to us that only a few dozen days of Christ’s life are actually documented in scripture. Of particular interest to me at this time was the omission of Christ’s youth, as we essentially jump from knowledge of Christ teaching in the temple as a young boy straight to his mortal ministry in what we presume were his early thirties.
Kenny Kemp clearly grew up thinking about these omissions as well, because his beautiful book tries to fill some of the holes. Kemp depicts Christ’s youth as a time of learning, but not only of the gospel. He had secular responsibilities that he attended to that gave him the opportunity to grow and reach out in kindness to others. I particularly liked his depiction of Christ with his siblings, which made Christ seem fun, but loving. One of my biggest complaints with gospel videos is that they rarely depict Christ as a man with a personality, but rather depict him as a loving and insightful man constantly speaking in a spiritual whisper. This was not the Christ I read about in The Welcoming Door.
I think we could all benefit from humanizing Christ in a similar way as we read the scriptures.