Jesus: the Real Deal
That two crossed beams symbolizing an ancient form of brutal and public state execution of dissidents should become the central image of a faith built around the idea of loving your neighbor as yourself is a paradox, to say the least.
That a Jewish peasant could take on the great thinkers, teachers, and leaders of his own community while simultaneously challenging the domination system known as the Roman Empire with the simple idea that the kingdom of God exists within each of us, that it is an attainable state of being the combined power of which can turn this world into a glorious place, is a paradox, to say the least.
That this teacher could take his argument to its logical conclusion and die on the cross rather than stand down on matters of Truth and then succeed in transmitting that message around the world for thousands of years is a miracle, to say the least. In that miracle is the very good news that ordinary people the world over, over and over again crave the satisfaction of kind and loving living.
The teacher is of course Jesus, a "religious revolutionary" in the words of Bible scholar Marcus Borg. Jesus is Borg's most recent scholarly contribution to our understanding of Jesus. The author is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and author of the bestselling The Heart of Christianity, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, and other books.
Published October 1996, Jesus in many ways will introduce readers to a radical, loving, and complete human being who has nothing in common with the five-star, anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-social-causes Jesus of the Christian Right in the United States or the bland honorary bake sale committee chair of the Christmas-and-Easter declining mainline churches. (more)