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The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted Paperback – August 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Thundering like a biblical prophet against social and economic injustice, racism and political deceit ("Jesus did not establish a bureaucratic institution, weekly social gatherings, or houses of religious entertainment"), Hendricks, professor of biblical interpretation at New York Theological Seminary, proclaims Jesus as a political revolutionary who overturned the unjust social policies of his day. Rather unoriginally, Hendricks suggests that Jesus employed seven political strategies (e.g., "treat people's needs as holy"; "give a voice to the voiceless"; "expose the workings of oppression") in his challenge to the status quo. With cunning insight, however, Hendricks fervently examines the politics of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush—two U.S. presidents who have professed to be following the politics of Jesus—and argues that these leaders fall woefully short of living out Jesus' message of justice, righteousness and steadfast love. Hendricks also indicts church leaders for their complicity with these political figures, condoning unjust wars and corrupt economic practices and not calling judgment on them in Jesus' prophetic voice. Overall, Hendricks echoes the call to Christian social justice that John Howard Yoder proclaimed over 30 years ago in his own book of the same title. (Aug. 29)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Evangelical activists claiming Jesus for the Republican Party have finally met a zealous challenger. Combining the skills of a theologian with those of a political analyst, Hendricks sees little evidence that today's Republican leaders are upholding the Gospel ideals Jesus once taught. Indeed, while Hendricks adduces from the New Testament numerous indications that Jesus championed the oppressed and challenged the powerful, he interprets recent political events as proof that President Bush and his Republican allies have done just the opposite. In the president's frequent professions of Christian faith, Hendricks hears only the echoes of the corrupt triumphalism that the Roman emperor Constantine long ago substituted for the true gospel message. Even many Bush voters may concede the justice of this skeptical critique of right-wing Republican claims clothed in religious rhetoric. But many will balk when Hendricks himself drapes the mantle of Christian sanctity around the policies of FDR and LBJ. Despite his excesses, however, Hendricks provides a corrective to the religious partisanship of the Right. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Empire and it's complete domination of the ancient world.
He accurately juxtaposes this relevant message into our current world to a generation absent, lacking insight why a intersection of ethics/religion and political governance must exist.
Hendricks understands the essential difference between liberal and conservative politics as choosing either to conserve the status quo in order to preserve the comfort of the privileged or to radically alter the status quo in order to serve 'the least of these.' His view of biblical interpretation is decidedly liberal: that the bible should be understood more as a historical prototype than as a mythic archetype (which would be the conservative manner of interpretation).
No matter how one interprets the biblical texts, however, there is ample evidence that their main thrust is to bring about the establishment of God's righteous dominion 'on earth as it is in heaven.' In our contemporary politics and religion, conservatives have usurped the moral/religious high ground. But if they do not soon admit to the need for both our churches and our society to care for the weak and the poor, one wonders how much longer that can possibly remain the case...