What Jesus Meant

What Jesus Meant

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
As the religious rhetoric of the culture wars escalates, New York Times bestselling author and eminent scholar Garry Wills explores the meaning of Jesus's teachings

In what are billed as "culture wars," people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the "reign of heaven" Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. Jesus came from the lower class, the working class, and he spoke to and for that class. This is a book that will challenge the assumptions of almost everyone who brings religion into politics-"Christian socialists" as well as biblical theocrats.

But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. Jesus without the Resurrection is simply not the Jesus of the gospels. Wills calls his book a profession of faith in the risen Lord, the Son of the Father, who leads us to the Father. He argues that this does not make people embrace an otherworldliness that ignores the poor or the problems of our time.

What Jesus Meant will no doubt spark debate about our understanding of Jesus and the Scriptures, especially as we head into midterm elections that will certainly prompt many heated discussions on the role of religion in our society.

Baker & Taylor
Arguing that Jesus subscribed to no political program in spite of the claims of politicians who cite Christ as an ethical teacher who endorses their views, the author of Papal Sin draws on the gospel to explain Jesus's radical views about class and power and how the Resurrection and Christ's divinity are key factors in His teachings. 75,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Arguing that Jesus subscribed to no political program, the author draws on the gospel to explain Jesus's radical views about class and power and how the Resurrection and Christ's divinity are key factors in his teachings.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2006
ISBN: 9780670034963
0670034967
9780143038801
Branch Call Number: 232 W685w
Characteristics: xxxi, 143 p. ; 22 cm

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pgmitch
Mar 29, 2008

The only problem with Garry Wills is that he writes too many books for any fan (like me) to keep up with. As a semi-lapsed Christian, I love his powerful and critical writings about his Catholic faith, and this book is a particular highlight. His meditation on the radical nature of Jesus's teachings, and the disconnect between mainstream Christian churches and the "church" as Christ saw it is eye-opening.

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