The following quotes are from The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, by Marcus J. Borg, Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University. _______________________________________
The Bible is political as well as personal. It contains sharp political criticism and passionate political advocacy: radical criticism of systems of domination and impassioned advocacy of an alternative social vision. Protesting the nightmare of injustice, its central voices proclaim God's dream of justice, a dream for the earth. Criticism and advocacy are grounded in their understanding of the character and passion of God: a God of love and justice whose passion for our life together is the Kingdom of God.
The claim that the Bible is political and that the God of the Bible is passionate about justice is surprising, even startling, to many Christians. We have often overlooked it; and when it is pointed out, we often resist seeing it. . . .
One reason is the long period of time during which Christianity was the religion of the dominant culture. It began with the Roman emperor Constantine's embrace of Christianity in the fourth century and lasted until recently. During these centuries the "powers that be" were Christian. So long as the wedding of Christianity and dominant culture continued, Christians seldom engaged in radical criticism of the social order. Instead, personal salvation in the hereafter was the primary message, an emphasis that continues to this day in many parts of the church. This emphasis incidentally (or not so incidentally) mutes the political voices of the Bible, thereby domesticating its political passion. . . .
So what is the political meaning of the Kingdom of God? In a sentence: it is what life would be like on earth if God were king and the rulers of the world were not. The Kingdom of God is about God's justice in contrast to the systemic injustice of the kingdoms and domination systems of this world.
Significantly, the Kingdom of God for Jesus was something for the earth. . . .the Kingdom of God is not about heaven; it is for the earth. . . .
To cite one of John Dominic Crossan's memorable serious quips: "Heaven's in great shape; earth is where the problems are."
(from chapter seven, The Kingdom of God--The Heart of Justice, pages 126, 127, 132-133.)
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.