Today we want to look at Part 4 of Brian McLaren,Everything Must Change, called “Reintroducing Jesus.” This section is a bridge to his analysis of the three systems in his chart. So, here goes… [added: I have no idea how to align pictures anywhere but on the left and neither do I know how to mix pictures with text.]… so here goes again…
The empire’s good news is domination, peace through redemptive violence, peace through centralized power, and peace through elimination of enemies. Jesus’ counter framing story is peace through him — teaching, healing, eating with all sorts — and his symbol is the suffering of the cross.
He suggests, were Jesus alive today, he would use one of these images:
A Divine peace insurgency
God’s Unterror movement
New global love economy
But I think he prefers “God’s sacred ecosystem.” He explains this in chp 17 by looking at the economic teaching of the Sermon on the mount which subverts the empire’s economic system. This is God’s sacred ecosystem.
Truth be told, Brian is an anabaptist as I am reading him — I thought I would just insert that comment right here.
So, now before turning to the security system, Brian asks which Jesus will we choose. The Jesus of the Sermon on the mount is either cute or he is radical — more radical than perhaps we care to admit. Go ahead, read the Sermon again (Matt 5–7).
Will it be the apocalyptic Jesus who casts into history the wrath of God “to use force and domination, violence…”?
Will it be the Jesus “of the emerging reading”? The one who teaches that good will prevail and evil overcome. “For this Jesus, love and grace — not violence and domination — finally win” (151).