Friday, 25 September 2015
We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus,
Tommy Givens, Fortress, 2014, page 21-22
Opening Yoder's classic "The Politics of Jesus", Givens supports Yoder's proposals that - far from the standard personal and a-political assumptions - Yeshua's whole life was deeply political.
Only this distinctively political life, then, according to Yoder, can be the basis of sound claims about the person and work of Christ and what it means to be Christian.
Givens goes further, adding:
Claims about Jesus that downplay the political way he lived are either not historically trithful or inconsistent with the Christian confession of the incarnation.
Givens suggests that to accomodate Jesus as something other than political, as much of the church has in fact done through its history, is a christological mistake. It is to deny, Givens asserts, that Yeshua was God's decisive revelation. But Givens' next conclusion is telling:
This means that Rudolph Bultmann and Billy Graham are both wrong about the gospel. They are not wrong because they present Jesus as liberating human selves from anxiety, guilt, confusion, immorality, or eternal punishment. Jesus may be said to do that. They are wrong because that sort of liberation is not the gospel. It is not what Jesus is about according to the New Testament. To make such personal liberation the subject of Jesus' life is therefore to narrow our gaze considerably and finally to betray him.
Them's fighting talk!