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Saving Jesus from Those Who are Right: Rethinking What it Means to be Christian Paperback – 11 Oct 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress (11 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800629663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800629663
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 813,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Margaret on 3 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
This a wonderful book that opens possibilities and does not exclude people. Carter Heywood is thoughtful, creative, has great integrity and makes Christianity possible to live with.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Compelling and Unorthodox 16 May 2000
By David Griffith - Published on
Format: Paperback
Heywood offers compelling arguments that dramatic changes in dogma, worship, and social action are needed to keep the church (and Jesus) alive. Writing from a feminist, liberation theology perspective, she suggests that authentic Christianity must abandon outdated patriarchal moral codes that alienate large groups of people. She spares no one in her attacks on those who distort the image of Christ to support their own political agenda. She is especially critical of the Christian right and neoorthodox evangelicals, but also recognizes that liberal Christianity can be a victim of distorted views of Jesus as the moralist. Her Jesus is a reconciler, a healer, and a lover. This book should encourage those of us who are tempted to be self-satisfied to become more willing to fight for people who are different from us and to experiment with ways of knowing God that are new to us.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly orthodox at the core... 11 Mar. 2010
By Shanna Kinser - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this during seminary along with all of Heyward's other books and a few of her journal articles and sermons. What was surprising to me, taken as a whole and considered within the context of contemporary Anglican theological work in the West, is that peeling back the layers of this highly contextual theology reveals a refreshing contemporary orthodoxy missing in so much liberal and conservative work these days. Distortions of classic Christian doctrines encouraged by the Jesus Seminar, for instance, as well as conservative and fundamentalist distortions fed by narrow boundaries drawn on a socio-political as well as dogmatic basis damage the Church's ability to witness effectively to particular societies and the world. You cannot judge the work of a theologian as controversial and complicated as Heyward by one or two of her works. Invest some time if you're willing to be challenged (and you will be) and you may find yourself encouraged to grow, however painfully, in your spiritual journey.
By Steven H Propp - Published on
Format: Paperback
(Isabel) Carter Heyward (born 1945) is a feminist theologian, teacher and priest in the Episcopal Church, and a professor of theology at the Episcopal Divinity School; she has also written books such as A Priest Forever: One Woman's Controversial Ordination in the Episcopal Church, Speaking of Christ: A Lesbian Feminist Voice, When Boundaries Betray Us: Beyond Illusions of What Is Ethical in Therapy and Life, etc.

She wrote in the Preface to this 1999 book, "I have written this book as a theological resource for spiritual transformation and social change to those who have had it with churches that make 'right thinking' a criterion for membership and usually also for entry into what Jesus called 'the kingdom of God.' Sisters and brothers, we can be Christians without having to pass any such litmus tests---and indeed many of us ARE Christian. I offer these pages to those who are disturbed not only by the Religious Right but by all self-righteousness that comes dressed in religous garb."

She suggests that Christianity has been, in many of its manifestations, "a movement to repress uppity women" and men who have resisted gender control. (Pg. xii) She admits that the "Jesus" in this book does and says only those things that she can see or hear, "as I study the Jesus stories through particular lenses." But she adds that hers is not the "only true Jesus," and that we need about as many images of Jesus as there are creatures on this earth. (Pg. 4) She argues that even in relation to God, "obedience" is a misleading metaphor, since God needs us as loving partners, as spirited participants in a movement for justice-love in the world. (Pg. 81)

In the final chapter, she rejects the Christian atonement tradition (as being cemented in "the partriachal logic of blood sacrifice"), and asserts that "forgiveness is the hope of the world." (Pg. 160-161)

More theologically "deep" than others of Heyward's books, this will be of interest to anyone interested in contemporary theology.
17 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Beyond the Mentality of Pharisees 29 Oct. 2000
By Carl J. Spier - Published on
Format: Paperback
In stepping beyond the tradition of male-oriented, straight-oriented, white anglo-oriented thinking, Ms Heyward promptly induces a feeling in the reader of not-knowing-where-we-are -- a response to be welcomed, to be encouraged, to be deepened. In opposing "right-thinking", Ms Heyward does the Church, indeed all of us, a great service. In opposing "ruled-thinking", Ms Heyward actually may open the Church, and all of us, to the power and presence of God.
20 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I really wanted to like this book... 5 Oct. 2000
By Jeremy Garber - Published on
Format: Paperback
but my critical thinking got the better of me. I agree with Heyward's stance on inclusiveness within the church, and the importance of not letting our concepts of Christ get the better of us, but she seems to have left Christianity entirely behind, or worse, used isolated Christian terms for their cultural weight while reinventing them to suit her own personal agenda. Her Christianity relates not to church or the story of Jesus, even in an allegorical sense, but to the wispy New Age mysticism that reduces religion to nonsensical abstract terms with no reality or practicality to them at all. Her spirit is fluffy and her flesh is entirely absent.
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