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Hardcover The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted Book

ISBN: 0385516649

ISBN13: 9780385516648

The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted

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Book Overview

From Elaine Pagels'sBeyond Beliefto Jim Wallis'sGod's Politics, investigations into the relationship between the historical foundations of Christianity and the role of religion in today's world have risen to the top of bestseller lists. Obery Hendricks, Jr., who was Pagels's first graduate student at Princeton University, adds an important new voice to the ongoing discussion in THE POLITICS OF JESUS. Filled with riveting, original insights, it confirms...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Discovering The Complete Jesus

This is an extraordinary, sold five star book aimed at revealing exactly where Jesus stood on the political scale of his time. Through careful analysis of quotes from the New Testament, author Obery Hendricks discovers a politically liberal, even radical Jesus who worked tirelessly and risked his life daily to organize the poor and protest against their oppression by a brutal Roman occupation thoroughly aided by self-serving high priests and an all-too-greedy Jewish aristocracy. This is the political Jesus that today's Christian Right doesn't want you to know about. Obery compares Jesus' own words to Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other luminaries of the politically Conservative Right and definitively demonstrates how their political thinking and actions are not in support of the teachings of Jesus, but actually in opposition to the Jesus they praise. Clear definitions of what it means to be Conservative or Liberal and carefully drawn lists of the political accomplishments of both Liberals and Conservatives from the founding of America to the present are put forth, and the reader can decide among today's followers of Jesus who are the hypocrites, the liars, the unfortunate misguided, and who are the real followers of the whole and complete Jesus. Of course Jesus was morally conservative on personal piety, and of course, this is a vital part of Jesus' message. However, ignorance of the politically liberal and radical nature of Jesus' mission is as dangerous today as ignorance of the politically liberal and radical nature of the thought and actions of most of our Founding Fathers. Obery has put together a wonderful case for continuing on with Jesus' liberation theology; treat the people and their needs as holy. If you're tired of Jesus meek and mild, find out here who the complete Jesus is. This is Obery's Jesus and mine, too.

What would Jesus have us do?

Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.'s The Politics of Jesus is a phenomenal book based on sound biblical scholarship--but not necessarily one that readers who have let organized religion define their relationship with Jesus will find comfortable to read. As such, it is not a book for the faint of heart--in fact, it could be taken as an indictment by "lukewarm" Christians who, by failing to heed and act upon the teachings of Jesus, have ignored the needs of the poorest among us within the institutions in our country that systematically oppress them. Through his study of Jesus as "not only a political activist, but also as a master political strategist", Dr. Hendricks let us witness "the courageously loving humanity of Jesus of Nazareth" as presented through "a new Christian manifesto": an empowering and inspirational resource for actions and policies that will transform our society--and the world--into a kingdom of justice in which all God's children, regardless of color, creed, or national origin, can have life, and that [life] in abundance, in every sphere of living. (10) He bases his "Rediscovering [of] the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings" (as promised in the subtitle) on two crucial Old Testament concepts, mishpat and sadiqah. Mishpat can be rendered in two ways, the first of which is justice, that is "the establishment or restoration of fair, equitable, and harmonious relationships in society" such that "any member of the community has the same rights as any other [as well as] the same inalienable right to abundance and wholeness and freedom from oppression." The second rendering of the term is judgment, that is "the sense of balancing or working to resolve all conflicts--social, economic, and political--with the equal rights of all in mind" (43-44) Sadiqah refers to righteousness, that is, "the fulfillment of our responsibilities to relationships with others as the ultimate fulfillment of our responsibility to God" (44). We are invited to see Jesus as a man of his time in first-century Israel, a devout Jew well schooled in these concepts. Jesus spoke truth to the power responsible for the systematic oppression wrought on the people of Israel--his people--by the Roman Empire and the Jewish priestly class who collaborated with the Roman authorities. We read about seven political strategies which Dr. Hendricks asserts Jesus used in his ministry. These strategies--Treat the People's needs as holy; Give a voice to the voiceless; Expose the workings of oppression; Call the demons by name; Save your anger for the mistreatment of others; Take blows without returning them; Don't just explain the alternative, show it--not only give us an insight into how Jesus worked to enact mishpat/sadiqah in his day but also provide a plan for those of us who would like to see the United States live up to her potential of "liberty and justice for all." Dr. Hendricks uses these strategies as criteria against which to evaluate how conservatives

Very Scholarly review

Dr Hendricks book is timely because it examines how Jesus would react in todays world. The book points out errors in our leaders who say they are Christians but do not follow the Gospels. The key phrase that DR Hendricks uses: "Keep the people's needs Holy" is on point. Everyone who serves the public should take note of this. Finally he gives clarity to what it means to be Conservative and Liberal. Too often Americans attach their own political views to religious views, which are against the teachings in the Gospels. A must read for all Chrisians and Pastors. Sincerely, Darrell Pone,MD Old Westbury, NY

What a landmark book

Regardless of your politics or religion, this book is thought provoking. If you are a "ditto head" you probably will not like that it will challenge your paradigm and push your buttons, but it is a challenge you should take on as should every other person concerned about greed, wealth accumulation, and the perversion of the teachings of Jesus. It even pushed some of my buttons but I needed to have my horizons expanded. I believe that a copy should be required reading for every religious and political figure in our world. The theology and research behind this book is outstanding and I suspect that it will generate the types of conversations that we should start having in our places of worship and in our political circles. Do you really know why you are a conservative or a liberal? I though I was well educated on political topics but here I was enlightened. My son and our pastor are going to read next and we are going to use as the foundation of a theological conversation to broaden understanding of how we can focus on helping those in the world who are the least among us. How anyone can find fault with this is beyond me. Read this book. Be prepared to create learning conversations around the book. We need to have this book be a catalyst to guide our actions in light of the teachings of this great man we as Christians call Christ. All I can say in summary is thank you Obery for one of the most important works of our time.

A Gift of Consciousness

This is not the usual "my-side-is right/their-side-is-wrong" book. Obery Hendricks assesses conservatives, liberals, politicians, and Christian leaders against the same criteria, a criterion based on the politics of Jesus. Hendricks details the politics, economics, and religion that influenced Jesus ministry and politics. He outlines the political strategies Jesus used to affect a corrupt political and religious leadership and structure, and to address injustice and oppression. Hendricks reminds us of and introduces us to individuals and peoples that successfully used those strategies to fight for justice and empower the powerless. Then Hendricks does what many refuse or fail to do, he challenges the reader to hold those leaders/groups who claim to act as agents of God/Jesus/right to the standards they herald. This book is educational, enlightening, and moving. It enlists the reader to demand accountability from government, and to engage in a new and different dialog!
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