A Reappraisal of Jesus' Message

"In an age of global terrorism and rising religious conflict, it's significant to note that all Muslims regard Jesus as a great prophet, that many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine, that many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity's most enlightened people, and that Jesus himself was a Jew and without understanding his Jewishness, one doesn't understand Jesus. A shared reappraisal of Jesus' message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue — and it doesn't seem an exaggeration to say that the future of the planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus' message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions, including Christianity, from a number of threats, from being co-opted by consumerism or nationalism to the rise of potentially violent fundamentalism in their own ranks."
The Secret Message of Jesus

The Kingdom Advances by Stories

"And that, perhaps, is the greatest genius of a parable: it doesn't grab you by the lapels and scream in your face, 'Repent, you vile sinner! Turn or burn!' Rather, it works gently, subtly, indirectly. It respects your dignity. It doesn't batter you into submission but leaves you free to discover and choose for yourself.

"Maybe that's why the message of the kingdom of God comes, then, not as a simple formula or list of information and not as an angry threat or ultimatum, but instead as a secret hidden in a parable, like a treasure hidden in a field, like a seed hidden in soil, like yeast hidden in dough.

"Human kingdoms advance by force and violence with falling bombs and flying bullets, but God's kingdom advances by stories, fictions, tales that are easily ignored and easily misunderstood. Perhaps that's the only way it can be."
The Secret Message of Jesus

On War

"If people believe that wars are necessary and justified, then wars will continue to happen. If people believe in redemptive violence, then violence will proliferate. But if they believe the secret message of Jesus, they will believe that there are creative alternatives to war and violence, and that by the grace of God, fewer and fewer wars and less and less violence may happen as a result. And someday, by the grace of God, perhaps war will go the way of slavery and colonialism — so that we can say that the kingdom of God has more fully come."
The Secret Message of Jesus

Plotting Goodness

"We all know what terrorist cells do. Maybe your group could become the opposite of a terrorist cell, secretly plotting goodness to surprise people with glimpses of God's kingdom: throwing parties, visiting hospitals, giving out flowers, planting gardens, fixing houses for elderly or disabled people, cleaning homes, fixing cars, babysitting for single parents, building playgrounds, cleaning up trashy neighborhoods or streams or roadsides. Whatever you do, you can make it creative and fun — giving people a taste of the kingdom of God through your kindness."
The Secret Message of Jesus

Join the Conversation

"As a follower of God in the way of Jesus, I've been involved in a profoundly interesting and enjoyable conversation for the last ten years or so. It's a conversation about what it means to be 'a new kind of Christian' — not an angry and reactionary fundamentalist, not a stuffy traditionalist, not a blas� nominalist, not a wishy-washy liberal, not a New Agey religious hipster, not a crusading religious imperialist, and not an overly enthused Bible-waving fanatic — but something fresh and authentic and challenging and adventurous. Around the world, millions have gotten involved in this conversation, and more are getting involved each day."
Everything Must Change

The Global Love Economy

"Politically, we produce and sell weapons in unimaginable numbers and then tax the profits to build defenses against those to whom we sold the weapons. We build an economy of war in hopes that it will produce for us a world of peace.

"That's why if Jesus were here today, I imagine he would speak frequently of the new global love economy of God — not an industrial economy, and not an information economy, and not even an experience economy, but a wise relational economy that measures success in terms of gross national affection and global community, that seeks to amass the appreciating capital of wise judgment, profound for-thought, and deepening virtue for the sake of rich relationships."
Everything Must Change

Envisioning a Sacred Ecosystem

"While most of us won't be called to sacrifice our physical lives (but many may), having faith inJesus and sharing the faith of Jesus will lead all of us to make what an early disciple called 'a living sacrifice.' We will give up the life we could have lived, the life we would have lived — pursuing pleasure, leisure, treasure, security, whatever. And instead, we will live a life dedicated to replacing the suicide machine with a sacred ecosystem, a beautiful community, an insurgency of healing and peace, a creative global family, an unterror movement of faith, hope, and love."
Everything Must Change

Spiritual Practices

"Spiritual practices could be called life practices or humane practices because they help us practice being alive, and humanely so. They develop not just character but also aliveness, alertness, wakefulness, and humanity. . . . Spiritual practices are about life, about training ourselves to become the kinds of people who have eyes and actually see, and who have ears and actually hear, and so experience — with increasing consistency and resiliency, even in economy class — not just survival but Life, capitalized and modified by insufficient adjectives such as real, abundant, examined, conscious, worth living, and good."
Finding Our Way Again

Christianity: A New Way with New Practices

"By a new kingdom, Jesus meant a new way of life, a new arrangement and set of values, a new order and a new array of priorities and commitments, a new vision of peace and how to achieve it. It was, in short, a new way that called for new practices. For example, instead of the practice of loving friends and hating enemies, this new way called people to practice loving enemies as if they were friends. Instead of hungering and thirsting for good food and drink, it called them to practice hungering and thirsting for justice. Instead of focusing people's attention on fashion and styles of clothing, it focused people's attention on gratitude for the simple gifts of life. Instead of accommodating to the common male desire to use females and discard them, it called each man either to celibacy or to loving fidelity in thought as well as action."
Finding Our Way Again

Become an Open Source of Embodied Spiritual Practices

"As more and more of us open our lives to be sources of inspiration and examples for one another, we begin to seize the unfulfilled promise of the Reformation with its open-source concept of the priesthood of all believers. Similar concepts were affirmed in Vatican II. It's true that not everyone can go to seminary. Not everyone can go live in a monastery. But all of us can wake up to the people around us, whose lives embody — not perfectly, but authentically — practices of the spiritual life. And each of us can aspire to become an open source of embodied spiritual practices for the benefit of others."
Finding Our Way Again

Joining God

"We want to join God in joy. We want no happiness that God doesn't share, but we want to share God's pleasure in every little thing. We want to join God in love. We want to love what God loves — and not love what God doesn't love: pride, cruelty, fear, apathy, every bad thing. We want to join God in action, creating, reaching out, healing, empathizing, opposing, confronting, transforming, waiting, choosing, encouraging."
Finding Our Way Again