Whether you love him or hate him, you have to marvel at Jesus, the revolutionary of revolutionaries. A poor guy from the country who presented such a challenge to the mighty Roman Empire he had to be taken out. His radically different teaching significantly threatened the political and religious authorities of that time.
It would be roughly equivalent to me politely approaching Laura Miller and kindly explaining that I was the real mayor and I had a new plan for the city of Dallas. And with the acerbated disgust that only she can spew, I'm sure that like Terrell Bolton, I'd be called an idiot.
That's basically the rap Jesus got from the leaders. But when he started amassing a following, he posed a real problem. And 2000 years later, that problem is still being discussed and debated. That's pretty good for a carpenter born in the little town of Bethlehem.
From the mailman to the world's most powerful leaders, to academics and intellectuals, to the poor and rich alike and across ethnic and racial lines--everybody has something to say about the guy, including John Dominic Crossan. He's a professor emeritus of religious studies at DePaul University and the author of 20 books on the historical Jesus including Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography;Who Killed Jesus?: Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus; and The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus.
On Sunday at the Unity Church of Dallas, Crossan will explore culture, politics and religion of that time and present a perspective of Jesus as a homeland Jew within Judaism in the Roman Empire. Crossan views Jesus as a profound polemic in a non-violent treason against Rome who represented a choice between a world of force and violence or a world of justice and peace. According to Crossan, Rome then is America now--an idea as controversial as Jesus himself.