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The author was born in 1926. His life has spanned the most radical changes in long-time held beliefs in the Christian Church. Theological scholars of the nineteenth century had begun important work on examining the Christian scriptures in the light of modern methods of analysis.
But the lay population of the churches had never quite caught up on the implications of that scholarship. There was a constant fear amongst the leadership of the Christian Churches that if the truth was out, there would be a falling away from the faith "once delivered to the saints".
By the 1960's, a new generation was seeking more knowledge about the biblical narratives and especially about the life of Jesus. Many young people were even doubting that a man called Jesus had ever lived. Many of them had grown up in families which for a couple of generations had drifted away from the organised church, but there was a renewed interest in religion and alternatives to that faith.
Ewing Stevens, as a Presbyterian minister in a church involved in outreach to many of those young people, was challenged by them to say honestly who he thought Jesus was. Many of these young people were well educated and they wanted to know what they could really believe about the Christian traditions. He set out to try and pass on to them much of what he had absorbed in theological training about the discoveries in theological research of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
It was his writings about what Christians had come to call the “historical Jesus” that caused a ferment not only in the Presbyterian Church but throughout the Christian Churches of New Zealand. In this new book the author places that controversy within the perspective of his whole life from childhood to old age.
The Rev Ewing Stevens MBE, JP, BA, Dip Theology is still a minister of the Presbyterian Church in good standing, but in the meantime he has become a radio broadcaster with a wide New Zealand audience.
In this book "A Follower Of Jesus", the author challenges the Christians within the church, those outside the church, and those belonging to other faiths to consider what is worth basing one's philosophy of life on; to differentiate between what is wishful thinking and what can stand up to the test of rational thought.