Friday, January 15, 2010

Knowing Jesus

'Knowing Jesus' James Alison SPCK 1998. 116pp

What does it mean to be people who follow the risen crucified Jesus? What does it mean for Jesus to be present to us by his Spirit? How does grasping the kingdom and grace of God change us as humans and as the church? What happened to the apostles, and how did we get from them to us?
These are the kind of questions addressed by Alison. The core of his answer is a non-violent, welcoming and gracious Christ, who blew open jewish ethnocentricity to unify all humanity under the universal victim. Knowing Jesus is being part of that new humanity, neither excluding others, nor imagining ourselves as the victim.

This short book is like a Catholic 'Exclusion and Embrace', that explores the vision of humanity opened up by Christ's death and resurrection. Alison places knowing Jesus firmly in discipleship and following His articulation of the gospel and it's importance is exciting and enriching. Some may be put off by his Roman Catholic faith, but there isn't too much eucharist, and what is there is reasonably helpful.

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