These two books arrived in the mail yesterday.
The marriage of bad theology and hypocritical behavior by the church has eroded our spiritual lives. Taking the best of biblical scholarship, Meyers recasts core Christian concepts in an effort to save Christianity from its obsession with personal salvation. Visit the author online at http://www.mayflowerucc.org. Here's a look at the Table of Contents:
Prologue: A Preacher's Nightmare: Am I a Christian?
1 Jesus the Teacher, Not the Savior
2 Faith as Being, Not Belief
3 The Cross as Futility, Not Forgiveness
4 Easter as Presence, Not Proof
5 Original Blessing, Not Original Sin
6 Christianity as Compassion, Not Condemnation
7 Discipleship as Obedience, Not Observance
8 Justice as Covenant, Not Control
9 Prosperity as Dangerous, Not Divine
10 Religion as Relationship, Not Righteousness
Epilogue: A Preacher's Dream: Faith as Following Jesus
Crossan: "In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries in the Chicago area. One of my courses was on the parables by Jesus and the other was on the resurrection stories about Jesus. I had observed that the parabolic stories by Jesus seemed remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus. Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former? Had we been reading parable, presuming history, and misunderstanding both?"Crossan examines Jesus's parables and identifies what he calls the "challenge parable" as Jesus's chosen teaching tool for gently urging his followers to probe, question, and debate the ideological absolutes of religious faith and the presuppositions of social, political, and economic traditions. Moving from parables by Jesus to parables about Jesus, Crossan then presents the four gospels as "megaparables." By revealing how the gospels are not reflections of the actual biography of Jesus but rather (mis)interpretations by the gospel writers themselves, Crossan reaffirms the power of parables to challenge and enable us to co-create with God a world of justice, love, and peace.
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