How is it possible that Jesus’ words have been utilized to justify both pacifist and prowar agendas? Historian Griffith (The Gardens of Their Dreams) is not an iconoclast, but he is not afraid to examine the various ways that Christianity has interpreted Jesus for two millennia. The author wastes no time grappling with some of the most contentious religious issues, such as the role of women in the Church, nonviolence, the celibacy requirement for some clergy and differing notions of what freedom means. Griffith calls it as he sees it throughout history: individuals and groups have twisted Jesus’ message to suit their own points of view. The author is a thorough independent scholar, and his concise writing makes historical facts engaging and relevant. His most important take-home message: it is not verboten for people of faith to ask why beliefs and practices developed in a specific way. In fact, it could even be considered an obligation for healthy, committed believers to do so.