PRESCOTT, Ariz. (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
Author Robert M. Wills’ “Taking Caesar Out of Jesus” provides a fresh new look at who Jesus of Nazareth really was and identifies his authentic message. In many ways, the historical Jesus and the non-historical Christ figure devised by early Christianity are poles apart. The historical Jesus is a completely believable and compelling figure whereas Jesus Christ, a figure invented by the early Gentile converts to Christianity, requires an acceptance of supernatural events and divine interventions that defy credibility for countless contemporary people.
Advances in medicine have radically changed medical care for the better. Advances in biblical studies are doing the same thing to how Christian faith will be understood and lived. In this book, Wills divulges the many things that have resulted out of years of studies and research, resulting to a new portrait of the historical Jesus. Wills believes that people remain invested in religious issues and particularly in Jesus as a figure of history or, in the words of pastor and author Dan Kimball, “They like Jesus but not the church.” Readers will be astonished to see that this is not a church book, nor is it an effort to bring fallen-away Christians back into the fold. Rather, it calls for a fresh way of understanding God, Jesus, and living by faith, as well as maturing in life.
Careful not to preach, Wills carefully confronts the Christian proclamation that Jesus is humanity’s savior—including the notion that it needs a savior. It suggests that the historical Jesus never embraced the well-known notion of divine salvation. To the contrary, Jesus embraced Judaism’s wisdom tradition. In the wisdom tradition, a person deals with the exigencies of life by developing a new vision of reality and by acting differently. Will asserts in his book that Jesus did not provide an instruction manual for living; rather, he pointed people in the direction of self-management.
Overall, “Taking Caesar Out of Jesus” does not try to harmonize the difference between the neo-orthodox and progressive approaches to Christian faith for they represent different ways of viewing reality. The book takes the position that neo-orthodox and progressive Christians can work together and worship together, but they cannot fool themselves by thinking there is no difference in their basic outlooks. Wills believes that it will take true maturity for both groups to live in harmony without trying to harmonize their beliefs.
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About the Author
Robert M. Wills, MSW, M.Div., is an ordained Episcopal priest. He is a graduate of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. He had a bi-vocational career in the Episcopal Church and in the mental health field. He also served as an adjunct instructor in both the School of Social Work and the Department of Psychiatry at Wayne State University in Detroit. He is currently retired and living in Arizona. He remains active as a clergyperson and leads groups in the study of progressive Christianity. He is an associate member of the Westar Institute.
Taking Caesar Out of Jesus* by Robert M. Wills
Uncovering the Lost Relevance of Jesus
Publication Date: October 18, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 261 pages; 978-1-4931-0808-4
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