Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Reading List Started

I've started to gather my books in preparation for the Fall Sermon Series. I think it'll be entitled "Kingdom Collision," and it'll cover the political implications of Jesus' message in First Century Judea. As with a lot of my sermon series and writings, my aim isn't so much to lay out a "program" for people to follow (as you find in Evangelical™ circles). Rather, I want to give people a decent "tool-box" with which they can interact with the content of the Gospels on a deeper level - and then start moving forward to the political climate of our day and age. The goal is really three-fold:
  1. To explore the political implications of Jesus' kingdom preaching in the first century.
  2. To compare the implications of Jesus' preaching in 1st Century to our own in the 21 Century.
  3. To begin the difficult process of asking how our current context may legitimately or illegitimately change the present-day implications of how we proclaim and live out Jesus' kingdom-message.
Points one and two are relatively easy, point three is where the fireworks begin because:
  • People are going to have honest disagreements at that point which we'll have to live with (gasp, perhaps the Holy Spirit isn't making us all clones!)
  • Some sacred cows are going to be slaughtered and cooked (and, if you are thinking of someone else's sacred cow, please understand that the barbecue is being lit for yours as well).
Anyway, here's what I've ordered (or procured) so far:

  • Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church (Zondervan Publishing Company, 2007).
(The above is a good primer for lay-folk. I take issue with some of his forcing of modern political jargon into the world of Jesus [calling the Pharisees "liberals" in order to make it clear that the Sadducees were the "conservatives" who were holding on to their power is a huge stretch]. Yet, there's a lot to chew on in these pages. I won't be drawing from Boyd that much, he's done too much of the work for me, but if you're part of the Central Baptist community, you should pick this book up because there will be some significant resonance)

  • K. C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts, Pap/Cdr (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2002).
  • Bruce J. Malina, The Social World of Jesus and the Gospels, 1 (Routledge, 1996).
  • John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, 2 Sub (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994).
In addition to these, I've become fascinated by William Wilberforce, who wrestled with these issues in his own day and age - so I've read this biography and will likely pick up others:
  • Kevin Belmonte, William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity (Zondervan Publishing Company, 2007).


Jamison said...

What about Wallis' "God's Politics". It's a bit more on the 'left' side of things, but a good read.

wezlo said...

Yah, I'll have to check it out.

Mandy said...

Boyd's book is a good one. I still wrestle with some of the things he says, but it's definitely challenging.

Chris said...

check out shane's new book as well; he used a number of the resources mentioned plus quite a few others. it's very good.

wezlo said...

I still can't bring myself to read Shane's stuff - I really would rather just call him up and go get a cup of coffee. I haven't hung out with him for years.

Boyd's book was "good." Much of it was "uh, yah." I did have a couple of issues with how he forced the modern political spectrum on frist century Palestine. And, while I largely agreed with his peace-stance, I need to go back and read that chapter again because the way it was formulated rubbed me the wrong way.

Like I said, though, if someone from Central is reading this entry - Boyd's book is a good starting point.