I was intrigued by the title of this set of dvds — instead of the familiar “Jesus Saves,” it was Saving Jesus. From what and whom, I wondered, and does the One who is the Lord of All really need saving? The promo asks, “Ever feel like Jesus has been kidnapped by the Christian Right and discarded by the Secular Left?” and with this question it seems to position Saving Jesus between the two.
I appreciate this attempt by Living the Questions to re-examine how we understand Jesus, beginning with a survey of Jesus Through the Ages then turning to consider his historical and cultural context, his birth, teaching, ministry, death, and resurrection. See here for an outline of the 12 sessions.
Like the makers of this series, I also would place myself somewhere in the middle between the “Christian Right” and the “Secular Left,” but the more I watch, the more I realize how broad that middle ground is. While I agree that there are many different understandings and images of Jesus, while I also look for “a credible Jesus for the third millennium,” my Jesus is not quite the same as the one described in Saving Jesus.
For me, “the historical ground of Easter” is not only that Jesus’ followers continued to have experiences of Jesus after his death, but the miraculous resurrection of Jesus the Christ by the power of God. When it comes to the changing cultural language about Jesus from authority figure to friend, I’m not so quick to accept that as entirely positive — is it rather perhaps just one more way that we re-make Jesus according to our own preferences?
I’m not in quite the same place as the contributors to Saving Jesus, but the dvds are well done and certainly thought-provoking. Check out this video sample to see for yourself.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this dvd series through the Speakeasy blogging book review network in exchange for an honest review.