Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Renewal of New Testament Theology

 
RESURRECTING JESUS: 
The Renewal of New Testament Theology (Cascade, 2015)

Review

''Farewell to New Testament theology as usual. Kim has struck the heart of the matter. This is a bold and fresh reading that seeks to resurrect a Jesus who points his finger to God and squarely situate him in his first-century Palestinian context. Reading Jesus against the grain, Kim provides a provocative textbook that is sure to stimulate interest and discussion. For those who had abandoned, domesticated, or otherwise misappropriated Jesus, this is a must-read.''
--Robert Wafawanaka, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Virginia Union University, author of Am I Still My Brother's Keeper?

''This is a book that both theologians and biblical scholars--who have been concerned about an unnecessary dichotomy between the two disciplines--have long awaited. Readers will deeply appreciate Kim's clear and fresh approach to New Testament theology as a process of discerning and engaging historical Jesus and New Testament texts. I highly recommend this book not only for research but also as a textbook for various courses in theological education.''
--Seung Ai Yang, Associate Professor of New Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary

''Yung Suk Kim's Resurrecting Jesus is a rare synthesis of historical criticism and spiritual passion. Kim boldly challenges the conventional divide between theology and history. Making the words and deeds of the historical Jesus the foundation for theology, Kim redefines central concepts of the New Testament in ways that are relevant to seekers for ethical consistency in a harsh world.''
--L. L. Welborn, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Fordham University --Wipf and Stock Publishers
The Renewal of New Testament Theology (Cascade, 2015)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The most selfish form of religion

"You die, and I don't die."
This is a most selfish saying that we may find in the most popular segments of Christianity.
The idea and confidence with this belief is that Jesus' death is good enough that there is no more death needed for salvation. It is like saying: "Jesus suffered for me and so I don't suffer any more." That is what Mel Gibson's movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST tries to convey to people without asking the ugliness of evil and violence done on to Jesus.

Most critically and candidly speaking, Jesus did not come to die; rather, his death is a result of what he said and did for the kingdom of God (better to say "God's rule of peace, justice, and mercy").

Paul says that "Jesus was crucified by weakness (eks astheneias)" (2 Cor 13:4a). The often translation of Jesus' Crucifixion "in weakness" does not seem to convey the intended meaning by Paul, who acknowledges Jesus' weakness (not acting like weak, but he was weak and could not overcome violence).

Jesus looked like he failed. But God makes him alive (2 Cor 13:4b). It is God who raised him and made him alive now. The true form of religion is based on other-centered life and sacrifice; the rest is up to God.

In light of the above, I am concerned that Jesus is being misrepresented in popular circles of Christianity today. How can we separate Jesus' death from ours? Jesus died, so do we.