Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer by John Dominic Crossan

I think it is worth noting how thoroughly non-violent the message is that Dominic Crossan finds in the Lord's Prayer understood in its context and background. There's food for the imagination of peace-makers' spirituality in this book. Here are some appetisers:

  1. To obtain and possess the kingdoms of the world, with their power and glory, by violent injustice is to worship Satan. To obtain and possess the kingdom, the power, and the glory by nonviolent justice is to worship God. They are, in other words, two ways of establishing our world and controlling our earth.

  2. It is not a request to avoid the “trial” of violence by others against us, but a request to avoid the “temptation” to violence by us against others

  3. Nonviolent justice or violent injustice is the essential choice between God and Satan and their respective kingdoms.

  4. we can name “the last temptation” of the disciples in general and of their leader Peter in particular. It is defensive counter-violence. The disciples must continue in prayer—rather than in sleep—to avoid entering into that ultimate temptation. They must especially avoid being led into that temptation “by God,” that is, for Christ.

  5. In that Abba Prayer the hallowing of God’s name means the coming of God’s kingdom so that God’s eternal will is accomplished “as in heaven so also on earth.” Think again of a two-sided coin: one side of the coin proclaims the divine name, divine kingdom, and divine will; the other side announces enough human food for today, no human debt for tomorrow, and the absence of human violence always.

  6. Is it enough to say—quite correctly—that “love” in the Bible is not just emotional but operational, not just about feeling but about acting?

The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer eBook: John Dominic Crossan: Kindle Store