Tagged: John Dominic Crossan

Gender - Male and Female Gummy

Diversity in My 10 Most Influential Books

There’s been one of those viral challenges going around Facebook asking for your 10 most influential books. Here’s mine, not counting the books of the Bible:

  1. Repenting of Religion by Greg Boyd
  2. Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland
  3. The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle
  4. A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren
  5. A Nonviolent Atonement by J. Denny Weaver
  6. The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey
  7. God and Empire by John Dominic Crossan (even though there were some sections I really didn’t agree with)
  8. Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright
  9. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Alister E. McGrath
  10. Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

The last 2 took a while and on any given day could probably be interchanged for some others like Boyd’s God of the Possible and McLaren’s Everything Must Change, but for the most part, this is what I’m looking at for my core book influences.

Essay: Christian Non-Violence

Gandhi, not a Christian but a strong example of non-violent resistance

This paper was written for my Social Ethics last year as part of my Master of Divinity. I will be slowly posting the best of my work to the blog as well as more of it to my portfolio website.

A Christian Ethic of Violence

As Christians, one of the names we apply to our central figure, Jesus, is “the Prince of Peace.”  Peace has always been a goal of Christianity in some sense or another. There is agreement that peace is a goal, and that violence should be avoided. How this goal is achieved, however, is not nearly as unanimous. On the one side is the peace position which contends that “peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”[1] On the other side, there are those who see peace as a goal to be obtained by any means necessary, as with Malcolm X.[2] This “any means necessary” could include violence, theorizing with a consequentialist argument that it is the best way to create less violence in the long run, and has become known as the Just War position.

Bible

John Dominic Crossan on Biblical Eschatology

This is one of those posts where I don’t bother giving commentary but I just toss up a big quote for you to consider:

First, we misunderstand ancient Jewish and/or Christian eschatology if we think it was about the end of the world – if we think it was about the divine destruction of this physical earth. In the King James Version of the Bible, the phrase “end of the world” is repeated in Matthew 13 (verses 39 and 49) and in chapter 24 (verses 3 and 20). But the Greek term translated there as “world” is actually aion, from which we get our word eon, meaning a period, a time, an era. What is to end is this present “era” of evil and injustice, suffering and oppression.

Bible

God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now

In God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now theologian John Dominic Crossan lays out a great case for a nonviolent and non-imperial Christianity.  Yet what I found really interesting is that he did so in a different way than what I have usually heard which usually fundamentally relies on an assumption of authority of the Bible.  I believe in the authority of the Bible (although not inerrancy and definitely not literalism), so this was a refreshingly different way to end up at a similar conclusion.  Those of us who work from an assumption of biblical authority have come up with many different ways to try to explain how the Bible can so clearly be extremely violent at some points and extremely nonviolent at others.  I make that sound like we have to lie to ourselves to solve a contradiction, but I don’t think that’s the case – I really do believe in concepts such as accommodation and progressive revelation.  But those are subjects for different posts.

Anyway, instead of dealing with those many different ways of reconciling the two, Crossan works with the conflict obviously evident in the text and identifies which to him is clearly the nonviolent inspiration of God and which is clearly some counter-productive violence of human authorship.