The Politics of Jesus: An Introduction

Guys, I’m starting this new thing which is pretty dorky, but I think you might like it.  I’m going to start blogging through gnarly theology books.  For two reasons.

  1. It’s a great way for me to keep reading and thinking deeply while making sure to digest carefully what a read.  The best way to make sure you understand something it to try to explain it to someone else.
  2. It’s a great way for you to be in-the-know on some of the big theological debates going on right now.  I’m convinced, personally, that theology matters, and I want to be someone who can aptly articulate it for other people who, perhaps, don’t have the time or energy to read on their own.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is politics.  I mean, as a Christian, should I vote when I know that the person I voted for will probably launch covert attacks to kill people overseas?  If I should vote, whom should I vote for?  If I shouldn’t, what should I do instead?  Should I support any wars?  Should I care for the poor with my ballot, or with my money, or with my hands, or all three?

My older cover is better

So.  In pursuit of answers to these kinds of questions, the book I’ve selected is John Howard Yoder‘s The Politics of Jesus.  Yoder is a devout Mennonite theologian, and this is the work he’s best-known for, so I’m excited to get started.

Here’s the blurb from the back:

The teachings and ministry of Jesus, the author of this new study of Christian social ethics believes, represent a coherent and relevant approach to the fundamental issues of Christian behavior in the world [ . . . ] The effect of the study is to support a specific kind of Christian pacifism and a theologically coherent radical attitude toward society; but its primary concern is to proclaim the full relevance of the incarnation for the social faithfulness of Jesus’ disciples—today as well as during New Testament times.”

What?  You mean Jesus meant for his followers to, um, follow his teachings? Well, we’ll see, Yoder.  We’ll see indeed.


About mikezosel

I got a BA from the SOT at SPU. Now I sling espresso, serve donuts, and, uh, blog. Word. View all posts by mikezosel

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