Archives For Jesus

 

A Disentangled Deity.

A Feature Review of 

Jesus Untangled:
Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb

Keith Giles

Paperback: Quoir Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Paperback ]   [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by James Matichuk
 

This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog.
Reprinted with permission. 
*** Visit his blog for many other insightful reviews!

 
Keith Giles is an Anabaptist in the house church movement.  His new book, Jesus Untangled is an attempt to disentangle Jesus from the political Right. He doesn’t advocate for wedding Jesus to the Left either. The problem with American Christianity is that Jesus is so enmeshed with nationalism that we fail to see Jesus on his own terms. In 186 pages, Giles offers his diagnostic of American Christianity and offers a solution: the recovery of Jesus as the central component of Christianity. The implication is that following Jesus chastens our nationalism, empire building, militarism, and violence.

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Jesus, Messiah of the Poor

 

A Feature Review of

Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor
Liz Theoharis

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  

 

Reviewed by Joseph Johnson

 

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his famous speech “A Time to Break Silence” that, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” I think these words, challenging as they are, express the conviction that undergirds the efforts of Liz Theoharis in her timely new book, Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. Her contention is that Matthew 26:11, one of the most influential passages on poverty in Scripture, has often been twisted out of context in order to give red-lettered justification for viewing poverty as inevitable and pitting Jesus in opposition to the poor (13, 97). In her eyes, these conclusions have obviously damaging consequences.

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Gerhard-Lohfink

Yesterday (Aug. 29) marked the birthday of theologian Gerhard Lohfink, one of the thinkers whose work has been most formative for us at Englewood Christian Church…

His work also was a major contributor to the theological foundation of my book Slow Church (co-written with John Pattison).
 

*** Read an excerpt from Lohfink’s most significant book, 
Does God Need the Church?

 
Here is a recent talk that Lohfink gave that has been translated into English and published by the Bruderhof in their Plough magazine
(If you know German, there is also a video recording of this talk…)
 
 

Did the Early Christians Understand Jesus?
Nonviolence, Love of Neighbor, and Imminent Expectation

Gerhard Lohfink

 

This is a translation of Gerhard Lohfink’s keynote address on November 21, 2015 at a conference commemorating Eberhard Arnold.

There are statements so ­bewildering that they are quoted again and again. Among these is a remark, now a century old, by the French biblical scholar Alfred Loisy: “Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God – and what came was the church.” I’ll leave to the side the question of what Loisy himself meant by this sentence. Rather, I’ll focus on how it’s understood by those who gleefully quote it. Usually, they understand it as bitterly ironic.

Here, on the one side, is the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed: the immense, all-comprehensive, yet incomprehensible trans­form­ation of the world under God’s reign – and there, on the other side, is the church that came after Easter: a finite body with all the limitations of any other social structure. Clearly, then, there’s a gaping chasm between Jesus’ proclamation and the post-Easter reality! Here the glory of the kingdom of God; there the bitter paltriness of the actual existing church.

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of theologian Marcus Borg.

 
Although his work was rooted in convictions that could be called liberal or progressive, he was a “friendly dialogue partner” (Ben Witherington) with evangelical theologians.

“He was the kind of scholar one could not and did not want to ignore. He patiently listened to all sides of the debates and knew the strengths of evangelicalism and historic orthodoxy, even if he pointed more often to weaknesses. Borg was the kind of progressive/liberal theologian who welcomed evangelicals to the table—as long as they would listen, as well.”
– Scot McKnight

Read the Christianity Today tribute to Borg

Even if you don’t agree with Borg on everything, in the spirit of dialogue that guided him, there is much of his work that is worth reading and reflecting upon.
 

Here are three books that merit reading by broad audiences in both evangelical and progressive Christianity.

 
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Love and Prayers in the Holy Land

 
A Feature Review of 

Where Jesus Prayed: Illuminating The Lord’s Prayer in the Holy Land
Danielle Shroyer

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Alex Joyner

 

On my initial visits to the Holy Land I felt under-mapped.  Overlaid on every piece of terrain I visited there were lines and boundaries – some seen, (like the security barrier that snakes along as fence and concrete wall), some unseen, (like the real and present divisions between Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem).  I was always uncertain of the significance of the land where I was standing.

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Paul_Verlaine_signature

Today marks the anniversary of the death of French poet Paul Verlaine (d. 1896)…

In honor of the occasion, we offer this poem:
 

FREE EBOOK- Poems of Paul Verlaine

via Project Gutenberg

 
 

“SON, THOU MUST LOVE ME!
SEE–” MY SAVIOUR SAID

Paul Verlaine

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Marci-BDSK

Our poem of the day,
from the brand new collection…

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit: Poems
Marci Rae Johnson

Paperback: Steel Toe Books, Jan. 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon

 

Jesus Cleanses a Leper
Marci Rae Johnson

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JesusInTheNameOfTheGunI’ve been traveling a lot over the last few weeks, so am still processing the entries in our Worst Christian Book Covers of 2015 contest.  I hope to post this list next week.

But in the meantime, I discovered this (comic book) cover this week that should have been a contender in last year’s competition…

For a taste of these comics, watch the video below…
(WARNING: Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended!)

Seems to me that these comics strike some deeper and uncomfortable truths about who Americans think (or hope) Jesus is…

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Opening Doors for Conversation
 
A Review of
 

A Second Shot of Coffee With Jesus
David Wilkie

Paperback: IVP Books, 2015.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Kevin Wildman.

 

In college I became acquainted with the writings of Henri Nouwen, who quickly became one of my favorite authors. The thing about Nouwen is the simplicity with which he writes. Much of Nouwen’s writings are quick to read, and easy to comprehend, yet at the same time he communicates deep truths that will keep one thinking for days.
 
Like Nouwen, Wilkie is gifted at causing me to think for days, even weeks with a few sort sentences. One can easily pick up A Second Shot of Coffee With Jesus and read through it rather quickly, and unlike more complicated works, reading through this quickly does not hinder comprehension and retention.

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Deeper into the the Way of Jesus

A Feature Review of

The Story of King Jesus

Ben Irwin
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
*** Kindle ebook Only $1.99!
(through July 7, 2015)

 

A Wolf At the Gate

Mark Van Steenwyk
Paperback: Mennonite Worker Press, 2014
Buy now: Amazon ]

 
 
 
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