I have had to take a break from blogging for the past several weeks. 1) I have moved to a new city for a new and exciting ministry opportunity 2) I am in the middle of researching the Roman Empire and Luke’s Gospel. I have not adequately interacted on my prior “atonement” post, but will come back to the subject after my life slows back down. I wanted to post a “Quote to Ponder” that I just came across from Richard Horsley about Jesus and politics (both ancient and modern) to hear your thoughts! I can’t promise to be back to the blog very much over the next few days, but will attempt to check in as much as possible.
From the perspective of the past several years in the early twenty-first century it may seem remarkable to us now that the “historical Jesus” of the twentieth century managed to remain remarkably apolitical throughout a century of unprecedented political turmoil… Only after the United States blatantly asserted its “hard” power in the Middle East, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, did more than a handful of biblical interpreters begin to question the received wisdom.
Neoconservative intellectuals have been insisting that, since the United States in an empire, it should use its imperial power more blatantly in preemptive invasion of the Middle East. This has led many to a reluctant recognition that America has indeed been acting like an imperial power. Historians are reminding us of how deeply the sense of being the New Rome, as well as God’s New Israel, is embedded in “America’s” collective identity. These recent developments are now leading many Christians who feel uncomfortable about their role as the New Romans to inquire about the relation of the original Rome to the ancient Middle East and in particular about that figure whom the Romans hung on a cross as an insurgent. Richard Horsley, In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance (p. 76-77)