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Tony Jones, popular theologian, speaker, blogger, and a founder of the emergent church movement, claims that much of the fault can be placed at the foot of the church's most common explanations of Jesus' crucifixion. While the Bible and Christian experience tell us the cross is all about love, today's most popular model for understanding the cross leaves us feeling guilty, ashamed, even unlovable, and thus disinclined to love others. How did the meaning of the cross change so radically from its biblical roots?
In Did God Kill Jesus? Jones takes us on an intriguing biblical and historical journey revealing just how this message of love was subverted and how it can be restored. He shows how many doctrines we think of as "biblical" were actually invented centuries later: how Augustine invented "original sin"; how Calvin added "guilt"; and how Anselm, an eleventh-century bishop, came up with the current majority view-God hates us sinners and so sent Jesus to be executed and pay our sin penalty so that God can pretend to see Jesus when looking at us. This is how we go from the Bible's assurance that God loved us "while we still were sinners" to becoming "sinners in the hands of an angry God." Jones argues that it should not be a surprise, then, that Christians feel guilty and unlovable - the very things the cross was meant to remedy.
Jones invites readers to join a movement to restore the cross as the potent symbol of love at the heart of the faith. By reconnecting us with what the Bible actually teaches and exploring how other traditions teach about Jesus' death - as well as providing Jones' own model - Did God Kill Jesus? will help us put love back at the center of what Christians believe and what they should be known for.
Number of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 9.03 X 6.60 X 1.40 (inches)|
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Tony Jones, M.DIV., PH.D., is theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis. He teaches theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and Fuller Theological Seminary and writes the popular blog Theoblogy. Jones is the author of a dozen books, including The Sacred Way and The New Christians, and the editor of the Theology for the People series. He is a sought-after speaker and consultant in the areas of theology, the emerging church, and Christian spirituality. He lives in Minnesota with his three children and his spouse.
“This important, smart, readable, and ultimately beautiful book allows this generation to re-claim the cross as the place of God’s deepest love rather than the place of our deepest shame. Jones unlocks the chains of fear and shame that bind so much of Christianity and offers us instead, freedom.”
“Tony has redeemed “redemption” for many today who, despite being put off by the blood-crazed, “vampire” vision of Christianity, desperately desire to discover the God of love in the egregious Golgotha. And Tony has done this with theological rigor and pastoral playfulness, with wisdom and wit.”
“Jones draws from what we know to be the nature of God to conclude that the essence of atonement, the heart of Christianity, is not punishment or judgment for original sin, but love. Accessible, bold, and brilliant, this book should be read by everyone.”
“An important new book…a compelling theological appeal toward a more gracious, more biblically-sound meaning of the cross for us today…essential reading.”
“An accessible theological tour de force.”
“One of those rare texts that is both informative and inspirational. It’s given me fresh eyes with which to see the crucifixion and a view of God that makes sense in and for the world in which we live.”
“I love this booknot because I agree with all of it, but because I agree with Jesus and it helped me see him more clearly. Tony Jones explores the great mystery of how one of the most offensive events in history has become the conduit of God’s love.”
“Did God Kill Jesus? is the one and only book I have ever seen on the Atonement that I can wholeheartedly recommend without reservation and with devout enthusiasm. Even-handed, historically complete, accessible to any reader who chooses to approach it, this is a masterful piece of work.”
“This book might change how you think about the Cross, but it is much more likely that it will change how you pray your way toward the Cross. Jones concludes with Julian of Norwich feeling God’s presence and understanding the Cross as a source of peaceas you will, too.”
“An extended exploration of one of Christian theology’s oldest, most vexing, intriguing, and important questions. Jones urges us to reject the most popular conventional answers and embrace better alternatives. You’ll be grateful for a chance to think alongside a passionate, inspiring theologian who writes with clarity, intensity, and relentless curiosity.”
“If you love Jesus and the Bible, but don’t know what to do about a God whose default mode is disgust with humanity, who demands a payment for a debt we cannot pay, and who kills his Son to appease his anger, you need to read Did God Kill Jesus?.”
“Engaging and accessible, written with the right mix of humility and conviction, Did God Kill Jesus? invites readers to wrestle with key questions about Christianity. I learned something new on every page and will be thinking about this one for a long, long time.”
“An exciting historical journey of understanding the death of Jesus with insights that are biblically sound, culturally astute, and contextually relevant. Jones moves us to reconsider our traditional means of seeing God, sin, Christ, and each other, leaving us with an indelible new sense of the meaning of the cross.”
“Too often simple ignorance of our theological history traps us in dead ways of thinking. For some, all the questions surrounding atonement have been long settled, but for Jones-and a rising revolution of thoughtful Christians-faithfulness to the God of the present sometimes means we must betray the past.”