Setting Jesus Free

John Churcher has a message for the ever-dwindling few who remain in the church: Present Jesus in terms that make sense to an educated, twenty-first century mind or be prepared for the total collapse of Christianity in the industrialized world. When freed from stultifying doctrines and mind-numbing dogmas, the teachings and example of Jesus make as much sense today as they did in the first century. Jesus can still be the gateway to awareness of the indwelling divine spark. Jesus can still show the way to perfect, unconditional, and sacrificial love, which is what Christians in their finer moments have always meant by God. What is required of those who would be loyal followers of Jesus is a willingness to separate truth from factual accuracy in their study of the Bible. By way of illustration, Churcher has shown that the truth of Luke’s Gospel can be uncovered by understanding that the author employed the ancient Hebrew method of the midrash, interpreting what was remembered about Jesus through the literary techniques of metaphor, myth, and fiction. In this approach, the truth of the resurrection is not to be found in stories about an empty tomb but in the discovery of Jesus as a living and life-changing presence.

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