A Resource for Progressive Bible Study

Bookmark.2013Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: Volume I The Year of Luke (published January 2013); Volume II The Year of Matthew (published September 2013); Volume III The Year of Mark (to be published October 2014)

This series is for “believers in exile,” who are drawn to the social justice mandate found in Jesus’s teachings, but no longer find meaning in orthodox interpretations of Old and New Testament scripture. In addition to weekly commentaries are reimagined rituals of Holy Communion, and a Bible study for Holy Week on the meaning of kenosis. The project is grounded in the biblical scholarship of Karen Armstrong, Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and the Jesus Seminar, as well as the transforming work of Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, whose theology of Creation Spirituality has reclaimed Catholic mysticism for postmodern cosmology.

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor of messianic salvation from Hell, culminating in the exclusive Body of Christ and the imperial violence of the Church Triumphant, postmodern exiles from the premodern orthodoxy of the Christian church can begin to realize the radicality in Jesus’s original message, and join the struggle to find the courage to live it out in Covenant, non-violence, justice-compassion, and the deep peace that passes all understanding.

Here is what Arthur J. Dewey, New Testament scholar and specialist on the historical Jesus, says about The Year of Luke:

Now your book. Frankly, I have spent the last few nights enjoying it. It is not a mere commentary. It is really a genuine conversation – with the voices of the tradition and the modern tongues. All of which occur with a wondrous eye to an uncertain future. You do not do the usual things in a commentary; instead you often go for the heart of the matter (and the occasional pun). You challenge the reader to take seriously the multi-sided conversation around a text or three.
I appreciate your use of recent critical works (especially the Jesus Seminar entries and the work of Crossan, as well as the Authentic Letters of Paul, and even my commentary). You get a lot out of them. Your use of “the kenotic” theme is well done. I also like very much that you see that some texts can correct or at least unbalance others, especially when a text from the Hebrew Scriptures liberates a NT text. Good work!
I do wish many pastors and preachers would sit down with your words and wisdom.

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