Wonder where Jesus has gotten to lately? In Jesus Died for This? religious satirist Becky Garrison's search for the risen Christ first takes us where Jesus isn't before suggesting where he may be. Provocative, entertaining, and abundantly relevant, this book reminds us that if we truly seek to be more grace-filled, we'd do well to be more graceful in the pursuit.
From the author: When I arrived at Yale Divinity School back in 1988, I expected to engage in an intense period of discussion and self-reflection around issues like eschatology, evangelism, and ecclesiology with fellow Protestants of all stripes (with a few Catholics thrown in as sort of a guilty pleasure). After all, despite our theological differences, surely we all at least bought into this Nicene Creed biz where it clearly states that Jesus was born, died, and then rose again from the dead? Silly me. Instead way, way, way too much time was spent navel gazing over trivial topics like Why cant priests be promiscuous? What priestly perks come with this parish? Is YDS a Christian divinity school? (This Q comes courtesy of the fundy faithful) and my favorite Why dont you use ^%$#@ inclusive language in worship? (Uh, Jesus was a dude. Hello.) I just dont see why the creator of all, who loves all of her creation unconditionally, would bring his son into the world to suffer, die, and then rise from the dead unless he knew such an act was needed to transform the world. Theres no way God would have given us the gift of eternal life just so we could stage Christian catfights that make us all look like biblical buffoons. Yes, we can point the finger at silver tongued televangelists and politicians behaving unbiblically. But the more I cover Christian carnage, I realize that this foolish quest to conform Christs teachings to the whims of ones own socio-political agenda has started to stink up the local churches big time. I know Jesus was born in a barn but do churches have to smell like one as well? In I Died for This? I will pick up my pitchfork and muck out the spiritual stables for signs of the living Christ hidden under the mounds of Jesus junk and faith fertilizer. My search will start when I first set foot in the Promised Land in January 2007 and conclude with the 2008 election a.k.a. the Presidential Promised Land. Along the way I will expose emergent excesses, debunk democratic dogma and other biblical bunk that separates us from the radical rule breaking, love making rabble rouser who came to save us all.
Becky Garrison is a Contributing Editor for Sojourners. Her books include The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail, Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, and Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church. Her additional writing credits include work for The Wittenburg Door, Geez, Killing the Buddha, and Religion Dispatches, as well as various other odd and sundry publications.
A common stereotype of a religious person is someone with a dour face, hands clasped in prayer while sternly warning others about the dangers of the flesh. Author Garrison (Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church), contributing editor for Sojourners, blows that image away and helps all Christians laugh at themselves and the crazy ways they misunderstand Jesus. The authors irreverent style is charming, but she does not use humor as a crutch; she clearly comprehends the Christian tradition and calls both progressive and conservative believers to task for misrepresenting the faith. The gospel, she contends, should not be twisted to fit personal agendas. Garrison reports on her travels to the Holy Land and across the U.S., all the while astutely observing and commenting on a variety of religious lifestyles and traditions. Never missing an opportunity to get a laugh, the authors stories are peppered with jokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary about how Christians have lost Jesus. As with any comic, some of the humor misses the mark, but the gist is clear: Christians must examine the core of their faith, understand that religion is not all about me, and, most important, share a good laugh. (July)Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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