McLaren’s 22d chp in Everything Must Change is called “Joining Warriors Anonymous.” It is about Jesus’ strategy for dealing with violence and our security crisis.
McLaren relies quite often on Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives us Meaning, a book I have not read. If any of you have blogged about this book, let us know. Hedge is a war journalist. But, the chp is about how Jesus faced the issues we face.
1. Jesus taught his followers to crave for “justice” — and he quotes the Beatitudes here. He thinks “justice” is a better translation than “righteousness” since the latter tends to be individual piety. The word is bigger than that he says.
Question I have here: What is justice? What does McLaren understand by the word “justice”? (I see no clear definition, but I may have missed it.)
2. Jesus calls us to “life” or “eternal life” or “life in the kingdom” instead of a boring life in mundane peace …
By calling us to avoid dehumanizing in our language, by pursuing reconciliation, by love, by working at neighborliness (Matt 5:21-26, 43-48). Jesus, in his world, pursued a way different than Rome, than the Zealots, than the Pharisees and the way of the Essenes — he pursued peacemaking by reconciliation and loving your neighbor as yourself.
He puts it like this: “So, we choose the former [way of peaceful reconciliation], in the confidence that a voluntary change in our behavior will precipitate an unexpected change in their behavior” (189-190).
I call this approach to life a preemptive strike of grace in hope and faith to end enmity.