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Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church Paperback – October 4, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802830684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802830685
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Louis Metzger is associate professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary.

More About the Author

Integrating theology and spirituality with cultural sensitivity is at the center of Dr. Metzger's vision and vocation. Dr. Metzger is Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary of Multnomah University where he also directs The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. He has been active in intercultural work in the States, Japan, and England.

Dr. Metzger is the author of Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths (Thomas Nelson, 2012); New Wine Tastings: Theological Essays of Cultural Engagement (Cascade, 2011); The Gospel of John: When Love Comes to Town (InterVarsity Press, 2010); Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical and Ecumenical Introduction (co-authored with Brad Harper; Brazos, 2009); Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church (Eerdmans, 2007); and The Word of Christ and the World of Culture: Sacred and Secular through the Theology of Karl Barth (Eerdmans, 2003). He is co-editor of A World for All?: Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (co-edited with William F. Storrar and Peter J. Casarella; Eerdmans, 2011); editor of Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology (T&T Clark International, 2005), and editor of Cultural Encounters: a Journal for the Theology of Culture. Dr. Metzger is a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey, and has developed a strategic ministry partnership with Dr. John M. Perkins titled, "Drum Majors for Love, Truth and Justice.". He is married with two children. Dr. Metzger has a keen interest in the art of Katsushika Hokusai and Georges Rouault and in the writings of John Steinbeck.

Customer Reviews

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He said that he had fought the good fight, run the race, kept the faith.
Daniel R. Franklin
Finally...a book has entered the dialogue that holds together the difficult tension of pragmatic and local ecclesiology with profound theological depth.
DH
I have read this book twice, and I have just begun reading it for the third time.
James Calhoun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Homola on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
The title does raise some questions...that is if you think about more than what color curtains should decorate your new sitting room. In a world of consumption of material goods that either make us fat or make our creditors fat, Metzger calls us to a new paradigm of consumption and/or a new paradigm of actually being consumed.
There are so few books that will challenge where we are as a Christian community with sound biblical support. His theological approach is readable for anyone willing to focus and question concepts that may be unfamiliar. Yes thats right you may actually have to think through this one and not breeze through it, which is not a bad thing once in awhile.
I appreciate his approach which is historical and systematic as it weaves the common theme through characters in history like D.L.Moody and theological truths such as Atonement, Communion, and many others. The ideas and paradigms presented in the book have been central to my daily ministry of community development. Most importantly, they help me understand and come to know on an ever deepening level the one who is My Savior. At the end of the day that is all one would hope for from a book about the consuming love of Jesus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Mitchell on March 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
In the interests of full disclosure, I studied with Dr. Metzger at Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and in the years since my graduate work there, we've become good friends and partners in the work of the Gospel.

He argues that the divisions of race and class which plague us within the North American evangelical church are deeply ingrained in structures that are largely invisible to the average conservative American Christian. He continues by offering a theological model for overcoming barriers of race and class within the church.

It is a well-sourced, well-written work, that's very accessible to the average pastor or informed lay leader. This is not a study attempting to jump on the latest emergent band wagon, nor is it a rehash of mid 20th century mainline social gospel concerns. It is a relatively short book that tackles a daunting subject with admirable depth. Check it out and take the plunge. The read is worth the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Seda Mansour on March 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
For the sincere Christian who has often struggled with understanding why the Church today seems so ineffective and irrelevant in our society and without the transformative power that fills the New Testament, this book is for you. It will not speak of new ways to "position" the gospel or of strategic methods of evangelizing the uninterested; instead it will confront you and disarm you as it holds up a mirror to us, the Church, to see just what it is we've become as the Bride of Christ in these United States.

Metzger builds a case for how divided the church has become, because of its "disordered vision" and its resulting blindness to "omnipresent consumer-market forces, ever-evolving racialization and evangelical social structures", a "fallen power", a world-resistant and worldly gospel instead of the world-changing message that exploded out of Jerusalem over 2000 years ago.

This is where the mirror comes in. Metzger challenges us, he challenges me, about the choices I make in how, where and with whom I fellowship. He writes about the "way churches today cater to the market forces of homogeneity and upward mobility" for "our kind of people". He goes on to state, "Today's problems of race and class in America are not rooted in torture or oppression, but in liberated choice and pleasure: they are bound up with the subtle law of consumer preference." Ouch.

Thankfully, we are not left in our remorse without a message of redemption and hope. Metzger goes on to explain how "reordering" our understanding of cosmic powers, our Christian lives and the body of Christ to which we belong, will create a path out of our dishonoring and dividing consumerism.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By adam mcinturf on December 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
"That ain't my culture and heritage!"

- Homer Stokes in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Tasteless, sure, to start a review of a book subtitled "Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Culture" with a quote delivered by a wizard at a Ku Klux Klan meeting. But just wait, it's perfect. The line comes in the midst of a series of fundamentalist epithets that the wizard (who we soon find out is actually Homer Stokes, the upstart challenger against Pappy O'Daniels for governor of Mississippi) levels against the so-called "progressive" developments sweeping across the depression-era south. Here's the line in full:

"And then there's some folks say we done descended from monkeys! That ain't my culture and heritage! Is that your culture and heritage?!"

The resounding "no!", then, with which the robed and hooded crowd responds is dripping in irony, for they're completely right - that's not their heritage. Their's is much more horrible, a regime of terroristic racism, whose symbolic apogee - the torch-bearing lynch mob - they are enacting at that very moment.

This silly side-track provides us with two poignant metaphors with which to frame Paul Metzger's new book, Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions In a Consumer Church (Eerdamans: 2007).

The first metaphor comes at the end of the wizard's speech, at which point he removes his hood to more closely inspect the hideous sight of an approaching color guard, which is, in fact, colored (sort of). Upon this unmasking, the audience is informed that the grand wizard - American mythology's own grand wizard of evil incarnates - is actually the hereunto noble and progressive Homer Stokes, "candidate for the little man.
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