Reflection > Tues week 5

Today’s class content was pretty radical, and I’m surprised there wasn’t more of a lively debate. At least the bit about Jesus preaching a “repent” of what you understood it meant to be in the kingdom of God, and “believe” in what he says it is, and how he lives it out..

In today’s lens, this is a salvation based “repent” and “believe”. But Bolger pointed to the 1st century point of view, which was a much more political. The Jews were within Roman rule, and were waiting for a savior to restore them from exile (and for good reason, it’d been the pattern throughout Isarel’s history). Instead their savor comes and tells stories, casts out demons, eats with the leapers, prostitutes and poor. This is shocking – definitely against social structures and hardly the political coup they were dreaming of.

Bolger, using N.T. Wright’s theology as a foundation, held up this background as an approach to Christianity today.

I think I agree, but geez guys … that’s a big shift! It’s radical! Just walking through Indpendence hall in Philly this past weekend, the fight for American Independence is fresh in my mind. Here Jesus advocates for NOT fighting, but transforming oppressive powers from everyday actions like story telling and symbolic acts like healing on the Sabbath. What does that mean for revolutions past? For the way our nation was formed – especially a nation who’s conservative politics are so connected to a supposed christian morals?

Even more, how could we have missed such a fundamental scope of Jesus to apply into our present ministries and faiths – and dare I say, politics – until recently? Isn’t this a bit disconcerting we’ve ignored the histrical content of Jesus’ ministry and even more, the applications that would have for us?

And one more thing, I can’t help but think engaging these views after we’ve passed through the past few centuries (18th and 19th) of revolutions and independence battles in the west is convenient and safe. Now that our battles our fought and won, is NT Wright’s historical case of Jesus reading what we want into scripture today?


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