Theology From Exile Volume II: The Year of Matthew

Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity (Volume 2)

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The Year of Matthew is the second in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Following the RCL provides a convenient format for Bible study for clergy and lay leaders (“believers in exile”) who are drawn to the social justice mandate found in Jesus’s teachings, but who no longer find meaning in orthodox interpretations of scripture. The continued existence of a Christian “faith” as a religious system of belief is clearly under siege by twenty-first century Biblical scholarship as well as the continuing evolution of scientific knowledge. The question addressed by this series is whether and how ancestral scriptures remain relevant and revelatory to twenty-first century cosmology. The project is grounded in the postmodern 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 the third millennium.

 

Endorsement by Fred Plumer, President of ProgressiveChristianity.org

“I was delighted to discover that Sea Raven has created something of great value here. Drawing on some of the best and latest scholarship available, she brings new life to words and texts that have lost their meaning and their intention for far too many people, including those leading churches. She accomplishes this with clear and even simple language and a clarity that I find rare with scholars.I only wish I had had this great resource when I was in the pulpit every week.”

 See Fred Plumer’s full Book Review Below!

 

 

Product Details

  • Series: Theology From Exile
  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491077328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491077320
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches

About the Author

Sea Raven, D.Min., is an Associate of the Westar Institute (home of the Jesus Seminar), and a Worship Associate and member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland. Her work as a free-lance writer, musician, and worship leader is grounded in post-modern Christian scholarship, and focused on justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. Since 1992, Sea Raven has taught the concept of natural, creation-centered or earth-based ritual in worship services and life celebrations in various church settings, including retreats, pulpit supply, and religious education. Sea Raven’s doctoral project, The Wheel of the Year: A Worship Book for Creation Spirituality, provides worship experiences that spring from pre-Christian Celtic spirituality, post-modern cosmology, and the theology and four-path principles of Creation Spirituality as developed by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox. The project is published on her website along with a weekly blog (http://www.gaiarising.org).

Review & Commentary

4 thoughts on “Theology From Exile Volume II: The Year of Matthew

  1. Review

    Book Review By Fred Plumer

    Theology From Exile-Volume II
    The Year of Matthew

    I must admit for twenty three years in the pulpit, I was not a great fan of Lectionary commentaries. The commentaries always seemed too contrived, were overly concerned with nuance and often seemed dated in the scholarship. And now as someone who has spent nearly a decade in the pews in possibly a hundred churches, I have grown weary of pastors struggling to create a sermon out of the lectionary selections, often trying to force two or three of the selections into something meaningful.

    So when I agreed to do a review for Sea Raven’s second year set of commentaries, I was hesitant. However, I was delighted to discover that Sea Raven has created something of great value here. Drawing on some of the best and latest scholarship available, she brings new life to words and texts that have lost their meaning and their intention for far too many people, including those leading churches. She accomplishes this with clear and even simple language and a clarity that I find rare with scholars.

    As in her first commentary, The Year of Luke, Sea Raven frames her commentaries by responding to four questions:

    1. What is the nature of God? Violent or nonviolent?
    2. What is the nature of Jesus’s message? Inclusive or exclusive?
    3. What is faith? Literal belief, or commitment to the great work of justice-compassion?
    4. What is deliverance? Salvation from hell, or liberation from injustice?

    I realized as I went over the questions several times that these are questions all churches should have been wrestling with for the last hundred years. It is no less true today in our challenged world. As she weaves through the biblical text, offering fresh translations and context, the picture of the struggling people of the bible becomes much clearer, as does their response. And no surprise, the picture of Jesus and his message is clearer as well.

    We live in an era when the people of our nation are trying to decide if we want to continue our trend toward an empire nation, saddled with empire thinking or something else. In the meantime, the “haves and have nots” grow further and further apart. We are faced with some horrendous issues that require our serious considerations. There could not have been a better time for people of faith to address these issues. It seems obvious to me that they will not be dealt with in our political system without new voices.

    The very clear message and story that comes out of The Year of Matthew may not be appealing to many pious people who attend our institutional churches. It will take some courageous clergy and some equally committed church leaders to create faith communities around teachings that confront the powers and principalities of our world. But if someone wants to preach, teach or simply live the biblical message of “distributive justice-compassion,” they will find all of the supportive material in they need in this commentary.

    I only wish I had had this great resource when I was in the pulpit every week.

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