669: JUST JESUS #9: by Terry Eagleton (ii)

Just Jesus, No God!

“Jesus has most of the characteristic features of the revolutionary activist, including celibacy. He sounds like a cross between a hippie and a guerilla fighter. Actually working for the kingdom involves surrendering or suspending some of the goods which will characterise it. Even so, Jesus is not presented as an ascetic, in the manner of the ferociously anti-social John the baptist. He and his comrades enjoy food, drink and general festivity (he is accused of being a glutton and a drunkard), and he enjoins men and women to unburden themselves of anxiety and live in the present. Banqueting, comradeship, leisure, abundance of life and high spirits are signs of the future kingdom. he even shares meals with sinners, a practice which was forbidden among Jews.

What one might call Jesus’ ethical extravagance – giving over and above the measure, turning the other cheek, rejoicing in being persecuted, loving one’s enemies, refusing to judge, non-resistance to evil, laying oneself open to the violence of others – is similarly motivated by a sense that history is now at an end. Recklessness, improvidence and an over-the-top lifestyle  are signs that God’s sovereignty are at hand.

Jesus offered an astonishing promise to the riffraff and undercover anti-colonial militants with whom he hung out.”

Sources:
(i) Eagleton, T. “Reason faith and revolution. reflections on the God debate.” Yale University Press (2009) pp.10,55
(ii) Eagleton, T. “Terry Eagleton presents Jesus Christ. The gospels” Verso (2007)

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