The idea behind the book is that we need to have a fresh look at the words of Jesus – in some Bibles they are printed in red.
This is exactly what you would expect from Claiborne and Campolo. I found it very helpful although it probably only skims over most of the subjects. Here are some tasters…
Community (Acts 2 church) – “it wasn’t that they had community because they shared, they shared because they had community.”
Church – a comment on St Francis – “his best sermon was his life”.
Hell – “St Paul was complaining to St Peter that he kept finding more people in heaven than Peter was letting in. Peter came back to him and said, ‘It is not my fault. It is Jesus. He keeps sneaking people over the wall!’ ”
Empire – “Democracy. I keep telling my students time and again, democracy is not a society in which the majority rules, but a society where it is safe to be in the minority.”
Politics – “Our goal is to seek first the Kingdom of God. What would it look like if Jesus were in charge of my street, of my neighbourhood, of my city, of my nation? That is what we get to imagine when we dream dreams of the kingdom on earth.”
– “For the Christian voting is not what we do every four years. We vote every day. We vote by how we spend our money, by what causes we support…”
The chapters on Israel and the Middle East were very helpful, because I just can’t see the American right wing point of view. Campolo/Claiborne managed to help me see that not all Americans get it either.
It is good stuff. I am not clever enough to offer many alternative points of view. The best I can say is that it is all a waste of time if I do not listen to the whisper of God through it and then do something. Lots of people tell me that God has spoken to them. I wish I could see what God has said to them; it would be a lot more convincing.