Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Imitating Jesus

I just finished Imitating Jesus by Richard Burridge, who is dean of King's College in London. It is a New Testament Ethics book that begins with the historical Jesus and moves through the works of Paul and the Gospels with the narrative background of Jesus' words and deeds in dialogue with ethics in his test case of South Africa. I enjoyed it very much, although I did not agree with everything he said as he never addressed officially the "elephant in the room" in regards to women in ministry and homosexuality. I am looking forward to comparing it with Hays' Moral Vision of the New Testament, as Burridge is critical of Hays several times. I leave you with an excerpt from the conclusion:

"Thus we cannot ignore the Bible, or tame the wolf (he uses the metaphor of an untamed wolf for scripture), or revisit the canon to remove the 'texts of terror' as some suggest among teh so-called 'liberal mainline denominations' - even if we wanted to. Nor am I prepared to do so. Speaking personally, this book is the word of life, which changed everything around for me when I was an undergraduate and which ahs directed my personal life, ministry and academic career ever since. So I want to grapple with it, read it and try ever to get a better understanding of it, so that I can make sense of it, and yes, apply it to my life and the life of the world in these complext and perplexing times. I am simply not prepared to let the fundamentalist lobby, or even the so-called conservatives, have the monopoly on what it means to be 'biblical' any more than I am willing to all so-called 'liberals' to dismiss it."(407).