The Politics of Jesus

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Jun 9, 1994 - Religion - 257 pages
66 Reviews
Tradition has painted a portrait of a Savior aloof from governmental concerns and whose teachings point to an apolitical life for his disciples. How, then, are we to respond today to a world so thoroughly entrenched in national and international affairs? But such a picture of Jesus is far from accurate, argues John Howard Yoder.

Using the texts of the New Testament, Yoder critically examines the traditional portrait of Jesus as an apolitical figure and attempts to clarify the true impact of Jesus' life, work, and teachings on his disciples' social behavior.

The book first surveys the multiple ways the image of an apolitical Jesus has been propagated, then canvasses the Gospel narrative to reveal how Jesus is rightly portrayed as a thinker and leader immediately concerned with the agenda of politics and the related issues of power, status, and right relations. Selected passages from the epistles corroborate a Savior deeply concerned with social, political, and moral issues.

In this thorough revision of his acclaimed 1972 text, Yoder provides updated interaction with publications touching on this subject. Following most of the chapters are new "epilogues" that summarize research conducted during the last two decades -- research that continues to support the insights set forth in Yoder's original work.

Currently a standard in many college and seminary ethics courses, The Politics of Jesus is also an excellent resource for the general reader desiring to understand Christ's response to the world of politics and his will for those who would follow him.

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Review: The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster

User Review  - Logan Mehl-Laituri - Goodreads

In 1972, John Howard Yoder set out, in his Politics of Jesus, to recapitulate a kind of “biblical realism” as an alternative to the reigning theological framework of his day. The Christian realism of ... Read full review

Review: The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster

User Review  - Goodreads

Imaginative and skillful in unfolding a pacifist ethic rooted in the life and political ethic of Jesus. Yoder's essays are highly relevant to a nation in which Christianity finds itself increasingly on the margins. Read full review

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Selected pages


The Possibility of a Messianic Ethic
The Kingdom Coming
The Implications of the Jubilee
God Will Fight for Us
The Possibility of Nonviolent Resistance
Trial Balance
The Disciple of Christ and the Way of Jesus
Christ and Power
Revolutionary Subordination
Let Every Soul Be Subject Romans 13 and the Authority of the State
Justification by Grace through Faith
The War of the Lamb
Index of Names
Index of Scripture References

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About the author (1994)

John Howard Yoder (1927-1997) earned his PhD from the University of Basel and taught theology at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries and the University of Notre Dame. For nineteen years he served the Mennonite Fellowship in church relations and education. His published books include The Politics of Jesus, The Priestly Kingdom, To Hear the Word, When War Is Unjust, What Would You Do?, and He Came Preaching Peace.