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Showing posts with the label Christian culture

Jesus-Life, teachings, revolutionary -a book review

  JESUS Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of      a Religious Revolutionary By    Marcus Borg Reviewed by     Geoffrey W.Sutton   “ Jesus ” is a scholarly review of Jesus’ life and times. Marcus Borg carefully examines the gospels and the small amount of extrabiblical sources to help us understand Jesus' mission in the context of his life as a Jew from a small town under Roman domination. Borg acknowledges that all historical studies involve a degree of subjectivity, which he tempers by providing cogent reasons for his perspective thus allowing readers to form their judgment about his interpretation of the gospels and other available records. It is no secret that Christians are “ A House Divided ” about many matters. This is notably evident in the United States. And this is the author’s context. Borg begins by providing us with a perspective on divided Christianity. Instead of focusing on denominations, he refers to two broad views or paradigms. His

The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

  The Meaning  of Jesus:      Two Visions By Marcus J. Borg & N. T. Wright Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton In The Meaning of Jesus , two religious scholars take turns presenting different perspectives on the same salient events or topics about Jesus and his ministry. I’ll offer a brief summary of the eight parts followed by some comments. 1. How do we know about Jesus? Borg , a Jesus scholar, explains the source material that is available about the historical Jesus then takes readers through an easy-to-read introduction to methodology—how he uses the sources. Wright offers the traditional or conservative, albeit scholarly, perspective on understanding Jesus through the lenses of faith and history. 2. What did Jesus do and teach? Wright provides the sociohistorical context for Jesus mission. He stresses the importance of the fact that Jesus was a Palestinian Jew. He notes a few points about Jewish monotheism and Jewish eschatology—"history is going somewhere.

The Last Week by Borg and Crossan

The Last Week    A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalem   By    Marcus Borg &    John Dominic Crossan Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton The Last Week     is, as the subtitle says, is a daily study of the events taking place during Jesus’ last week on earth. The authors structure their work by focusing on Mark’s gospel written about four decades after Jesus’ crucifixion. In the preface we learn the value of the week’s sequence spelled out by Mark, which allows the authors to trace the events leading up to the cross and the Easter celebration. Not surprisingly then, readers find eight chapters taking us from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  The clarity of writing and scholarly presentation of information missing from so many sermons make this an ideal read for Lent so I highly recommend it for Christians who are unclear on the significance of the week in the first century context of the Roman Empire as well as for a meaningful message that conveys the pas

The Passion of the Christ 2004 Movie Review

  The Passion of the Christ       Director   Mel Gibson Writers   Benedict Fitzgerald   & Mel Gibson Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton WARNING-- The Film is violent and not suitable for all audiences. The Passion of Christ is a graphic film that follows a composite story line of Jesus’ final hours that includes some extrabiblical traditions and artistic license. The opening of the film is set in Gethsemane where Jesus is praying, and his disciples are asleep. Throughout the film, the characters speak Latin or Aramaic. The film background explains that the Aramaic is a Syrian version. Judas has taken 30 pieces of silver from the Temple leaders in Jerusalem. Judas identifies Jesus with the infamous betrayal kiss. Jesus is arrested. Peter attempts a defence by cutting off a guard’s ear, but Jesus insists on putting down the sword and heals the man’s ear. John runs off to tell Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene about the arrest. Jesus is presented to Caiaphas the hig

JESUS AND JOHN WAYNE - A book review

  JESUS AND JOHN WAYNE How White Evangelicals        Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation By    Kristin Kobes Du Mez Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton   Kristin Kobes Du Mez begins and ends her assault on militaristic white American evangelical men with their contemporary sociopolitical leader, former president, Donald Trump. In the Introduction we learn the short doctrinal list of what it means to be a Bible-believing evangelical, but the author posits that American evangelicals are more than a set of theological statements. Instead, since the early 1900s they have embraced a John Wayne view of what it means to be a Christian man—a powerful warrior for country and God—a man who leads his troops into battle to uphold the values of God’s chosen people, the Americans. It was the title, Jesus and John Wayne , that was off-putting. I didn’t grow up with John Wayne films or a love of American westerns. I was after all British and even after living in America, we