The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?

The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus What s So Good About the Good News Jesus came preaching but the church wound up preaching Jesus Why does the church insist upon making Jesus the object of its attention rather than heeding his message Esteemed Harvard minister Peter J

  • Title: The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?
  • Author: Peter J. Gomes
  • ISBN: 9780060000738
  • Page: 346
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Jesus came preaching, but the church wound up preaching Jesus Why does the church insist upon making Jesus the object of its attention rather than heeding his message Esteemed Harvard minister Peter J Gomes believes that excessive focus on the Bible and doctrines about Jesus have led the Christian church astray What did Jesus preach asks Gomes To recover the transfJesus came preaching, but the church wound up preaching Jesus Why does the church insist upon making Jesus the object of its attention rather than heeding his message Esteemed Harvard minister Peter J Gomes believes that excessive focus on the Bible and doctrines about Jesus have led the Christian church astray What did Jesus preach asks Gomes To recover the transformative power of the gospel the good news Gomes says we must go beyond the Bible and rediscover how to live out Jesus original revolutionary message of hope Dietrich Bonhoeffer once warned against cheap grace, and I warn now against cheap hope Hope is not merely the optimistic view that somehow everything will turn out all right in the end if everyone just does as we do Hope is the rugged, the muscular view that even if things don t turn out all right and aren t all right, we endure through and beyond the times that disappoint or threaten to destroy us This gospel is offensive and always overturns the status quo, Gomes tells us It s not good news for those who wish not to be disturbed, and today our churches resound with shrill speeches of fear and exclusivity or tepid retellings of a health and wealth gospel With his unique blend of eloquence and insight, Gomes invites us to hear anew the radical nature of Jesus message of hope and change Using examples from ancient times as well as from modern pop culture, The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus shows us why the good news is every bit as relevant today as when it was first preached.

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    1 thought on “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?”

    1. Much of what I thought about the book was expressed perfectly by Leela on this site: "I think what I wanted and didn't get was a richer portrait of Jesus-as-rebel. What I got instead was a rich analysis of the Christian church and how hard it may be to apply the principles developed as a minority underdog when one finds oneself holding all (or many) of the power cards. Fascinating. Interesting. Great sermon material. But not as compelling as I'd expected. It felt much more like work and much les [...]

    2. (4.5 stars)The essential criteria for good preaching -- and books by preachers -- are eloquence and edification, and not (as some think) a deep intellectual depth. Gomes satisfies all three, but his writing is saved from the dead language of a theological tome, and instead blessed with an authentic preacherly ability to express deep principles in understandable ways.He makes the case forcefully and enthrallingly for the first half of the book, bubbling over with pristine prose never for a moment [...]

    3. This was a good book, but not as much fun as I'd hoped. As usual, Gomes' turns of phrase are elegant and evoke his formal, slightly British preaching style. He has done an excellent job of mixing anecdotes and scholarship, while writing accessibly. I think what I wanted and didn't get was a richer portrait of Jesus-as-rebel. What I got instead was a rich analysis of the Christian church and how hard it may be to apply the principles developed as a minority underdog when one finds oneself holding [...]

    4. This book was disappointing on two levels. First, instead of the well-turned phrases I have grown to expect from Gomes, we get a work that substitutes extensive quotation of hymns and the writings of others for originality. I got the impression I was reading a school research paper on hymnody rather than an original work on the gospel. More importantly, after covering what the Bible is not in the first part and what it should be in the second, Gomes leaves the reader with very little of substanc [...]

    5. In this startlingly accurate depiction of Christianity Gomes asks, 'why are our religious organizations always the last to get behind social change and justice?' Not only are they slow to promote social change but they have come to be the keepers of the status quo.This is in stark contrast to what Jesus came to do, which was to disrupt it.Christianity has thrived in western society but the societal problems that Jesus preached against are as bad as they have ever been. So what is the 'good news' [...]

    6. The culmination of Gomes' trilogy which started withThe Good Book, this book was pretty much preaching to the choir as far as I was concerned, so of course I liked it. Also, Gomes uses hymns to make his point a lot of the time, which was great. As a gay, liberal Christian, chaplain at "Godless Harvard," and consistently rated as one of America's best preachers, Gomes has a lot to offer. I particularly liked his differentiating between optimism and hope. My one quibble would be that he has a litt [...]

    7. Good, but not great. The ramblings of a liberal Christian. And, I don't say this in a negative way, for I myself am liberal in many views. Made for a good read, but I thought the book lost it's luster towards the end as it seemed to become rather repetitive on the same issues (oppression, racism, counter-culture, etc). Although there was some good insight into the teachings of Christ, I didn't think Gomes offered anything new and fresh. I thought there was an over abundance of quotes taken from [...]

    8. Harvard chaplain Gomes does a fine job of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted in this eloquent call to look beyond Jesus as personal savior, and to learn from and realize his demanding teachings. Gomes calls for a return to the vigorous, active social gospel exemplified by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Salvation Army, a religion working towards salvation in this world rather than the next, and that finds loving one’s neighbor incompatible with gated communities and a winne [...]

    9. Packed with theology from old hymns and quotes from people he likes, this collections of his thoughts from high in his ivory tower at Harvard, this final book from Mr. Gomes tells us where we all got everything wrong.I should appreciate more a person who has 33 honorary degrees; is an honorary Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge; has a lectureship named for him there; and was minister of Harvard's Memorial Church for over 30 years. He has rubbed elbows with the religious greats of the 20/21st [...]

    10. No finger-wagging, dogmatic pomposity here. Esteemed Harvard minister Peter J. Gomes shares his view of Jesus and the Gospel. I've often felt that the problem with the Protestant Reformation is that they quit protesting and quit reforming. Now it seems Christianity has crystallized into a narrow, exclusive, moralistic monolith similar the the Roman Catholic Church that was the target of reform.Gomes offers a refreshing look not at Jesus, but at what Jesus taught. He begins by reminding us that e [...]

    11. Re-validates me when I'm feeling oppressed by the "stadium-seating worship arena seating 10,000 people megachurch" Christianity-lite that passes for spirituality in my part of the woods today. "WWJD" if he wandered into one of these corporate churches? He would be appalled. Christianity today has gotten so far removed from Christ that He wouldn't recognize it. "Church" has become synonymous with "entertainment" instead of "spiritual instruction" and Christianity must renew itself with spreading [...]

    12. Gomes is always entertaining but I don't quite get the point of what he's trying to say with this one. Of course, I chalk it up to the fact that I read such a diff. genre of religious literature these days, and this is unusual for me. But he's got some interesting lines and an interesting forepoint: people need to move beyond their sanctity for Scripture so they can read what it actually says.Should be a quick read for you genius types I'm almost done with it myselfght of 8.7.09:Ok, update I fin [...]

    13. This is the first Gomes I've read and I liked it. I'm also reading Shane Claiborne's Irresistable Revolution at the same time and I was struck by how much they had in common. Gomes is more of an older, intellectual version of Claiborne's radical hippy themes. Both talk a lot about how the church has become the defender of the status quo and we've lost sight of the truly radical things the gospel actually calls us to do. I'd like to put Claiborne and Gomes in the same room and just be a fly on th [...]

    14. We read/discussed this in our Sunday School class. It was a good read for me. To me, Gomes stands/writes in the best tradition of the prophets, (probably more “traditional” than I, but…) eloquently and effectively speaking the truth, as he sees it…not one for pulling punches or sugar-coating his analysis.The book is organized in three parts: 1. The Trouble with the Scripture, where he speaks of “an offending gospel” and the “risks of nonconformity,”2. The Gospel and the Conventio [...]

    15. By the Gospel, Peter Gomes means the social gossip. The irony is that while he belittles fundamentalist for interpreting the bible literally, he interprets the sayings of Jesus literally to justify his insistence on the social gossip. I felt somewhat embarrassed for Dr. Gomes constant need to drop in stories that happen to show how great he is. He lets us know he meet the Queen Mother, received an honorary degree and mentions his relation to Harvard at least a dozen times. He should take the bes [...]

    16. I have to admit that while I didn't follow a lot of his reasoning, I did enjoy the way he wrote it. Gomes has a wonderful, almost sermonesque way of writing that seems so natural and unforced, but you know it wasn't. This is a book about AGAPE which means impossible love. It is at the heart of the social gospel which is what he is concerned with. As a Christian, I did enjoy this book and found a lot of it informative, even challenging. However, it's conclusions were a little too vague. Still, I [...]

    17. Conservative Christians may not like what Rev. Gomes is saying (look at what He says and act on it) nor the fact that he's even saying it (he's openly gay). Gomes, a longtime minister and Harvard professor, calls for a return to the social gospel in vogue until the 1970s.

    18. Absolutely, totally brilliant. One of the greatest theologians of our time. However, it can draggg a little in places and get a little impenetrable. However, the quality of ideas and the challenge presented to people of faith is so great it still wins 4 stars from me.

    19. A reminder that Jesus was a radical who advocated disruptive social change and would be opposed by conservatives if he appeared today. A call to those who claim to be "Christian" to challenge the status quo and stand against injustice.

    20. This book reinforced my Christian beliefs. Gomes wraps up nicely how one can be a social liberal and still be a Christian. I would like to read his other books. Bible scholars will probably not be interested in this book because Gomes does not do an in depth study of scripture.

    21. Not bad for a Protestant! Gomes remind us that it's all about lovespecifically love of neighbord don't ask, like the smarty pants in Luke, "who is my neighbor?" s the gay person, the homeless person, the Democrat, the Republican

    22. OK book. I agree with most of Gomes' points. But they were not always well presented, and the ideas were sometimes too loosely supported.

    23. I'm reading this book now after hearing the author speak at The Tattered Cover book store. Easy to read, yet makes me stop and think.

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