Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just Finished Reading...

This past week I read two excellent books on the kingdom of God. They are Greg Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation, and Brian McLaren’s The Secret Message of Jesus. The “secret message” is: “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” McLaren & Boyd do really fine jobs explicating this. Both Boyd and McLaren show how the Christian church lost their focus on Jesus’ main, central message. For Boyd, the Church co-opted Jesus for their own earthly versions of the kingdom,thus distorting Jesus' real message. I like the way McLaren shows how Jesus' at times secretive disclosures of the message of the kingdom are intentional, provocative, functioning as compelling invitations to enter in to the kingdom itself.

As I continue my reading and re-reading of the 4 Gospels, it’s more and more obvious that the real message of the Real Jesus remains radical and revolutionary and, as McLaren and Boyd emphasize, the only real hope we have. I think these are two excellent books to read together to enter into the ancient message of the Real Jesus as it gets applied today.