The Politics of Jesus:
A Simplified Summary of John Howard Yoder's Classic Book
The ‘politics of Jesus’ is an offensive or dangerous phrase for most evangelicals. This is part of the reason for
its importance as a title both of Yoder’s book, and this summary of it. Yoder presents us (paradoxically) with a
pacifist Jesus who did not come to bring ‘peace’ (in the sense of unity in compromise) but a ‘sword‘ (of truth and
justice). The Politics of Jesus is an incendiary, revolutionary book which brought me face to face with Jesus
Christ and left me wanting more people to have the same experience. It is an uncategorisable classic that, in
some senses, covers all of theology in laying out the social ethics of Jesus, their pre-emption in the Old
Testament and their lived reality in the early church.
While Yoder’s book was mainly addressed to liberals and moderates in the context of academic theology, this summary is written with the disenchanted or progressive lay evangelical in mind, who has a decent general knowledge and has been around churches for a while, but hasn’t necessarily done any specialised study or read any theology books before.
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