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Salvation: Jesus’s Mission and Ours

What would Jesus do? This is an old question that Christians of each successive generation have had to pose anew if they want to be faithful disciples. In other words, what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus today? A simple answer that has served Christians for centuries is to do as he did. To turn that simple prescription into a plan for living, many have turned the socio-economic emphasis discerned in the gospels into a contemporary ethic of justice. Less discernable, however, has been the political reality of Jesus’s teaching and the existential stakes behind it. In this book, Cobb argues that Jesus’s mission was to save his people from their bent toward a violent, military-style attempt to overthrow their Roman occupiers. Jesus believed this attempt would be self-destructive, so his mission was to teach the way of nonviolence. Saving his people from Rome and from themselves was the most inclusive mission possible at that time. To follow Jesus today is to adopt the most inclusive mission of our day. That is, our mission must be to save the world from its self-destructive path to climate chaos and to establish instead an ecological civilization.

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