Posts Tagged ‘Reclaiming Jesus Declaration’

If you have read other books by Jim Wallis, heard him speak, or followed Sojourners, this book will not be new to you. But Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus may be a tasty consomme, the best of Jim Wallis boiled down to essentials. And it written in what he and many others consider a crisis moment for culture, country and Christians.

Based on “The Reclaiming Declaration,” which is a collective statement by faith leaders, the book falls nicely into ten chapters. The nut of the book is an insistence that Christians in general and evangelical Christians in particular have lost track of the actual sayings, teachings and examples from Jesus himself. In this polarized political time the body politic has become unhinged from its moral bearings. And Christians have defined themselves by a few wedge issues while suspending or ignoring the preponderance of everything else Jesus taught and has been practiced by the Church for centuries.

After making the a theological case for the return to Jesus himself, Wallis devotes entire chapters to questions of who is the neighbor, how are we all created in the image of God, how does one rediscover truth, how is power understood and negotiated, in what ways does fear motivate us, how can must we make decisions about ultimate loyalties when it comes to God and Caesar, what does it take to become peacemakers, and how can we once again enlarge discipleship to actually following Jesus when it comes to life and life together.

All of these questions and suggested answers are relevant and telling, especially as regards the ways in which Wallis claims that Christians have made Faustian bargains with the current political powers and principalities and lost their spiritual bearings as a result.

Reclaiming a way forward requires an ancient project, one that is perfectly suited for today: Identify who we are based on an entirely different criteria than an amoral false Christianity that compromises itself in order to be close to the levers of power.

This is good stuff. Not new, but good. And harder to do than understand.

My guess is that unless Christians embrace this ancient-future wisdom all shall be lost, not only for historic Christian communities, but for a nation that is presently stumbling blindly through a moral and spiritual blackout.