Glossary

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Special / technical terms (identified by *) used in this blog.

Commonwealth of Peace and Justice — This is the term I prefer to use instead of Kingdom of God*. ‘Commonwealth’ refers to the distribution of power, goods, and services to the people; kingdom speaks of the Domination System’s* control of power, goods, and services. ‘Peace’ and ‘Justice’ address the fruits of the Commonwealth.

Domination System — Increasingly biblical scholars are convinced that Jesus was offering a dramatic Way* for resist the “principalities and powers” of this world. John Dominic Crossan calls the Domination System (Empire) “the normalcy of civilization.” The Domination System is the power and control maintained by those in power; violence (or the threat of violence) is the primary weapon. Jesus’ appeal to the poor and marginalized offers a nonviolent (but confrontative) way to resist that power. The result: the cross.

Empire — see Domination System.

Faithing — faith is an active process, not a static belief system. In translating the New Testament, most scholars translate the Greek noun (pistis) as “faith;” but its verb form (pistein) as “to believe.” For me, “faithing” captures the dynamic process of trusting, better than “believing” does.

Human Being (Human, humanity) — This was the only title that Yeshua* used for himself or accepted from others. In his wilderness experience, Yeshua wrestled with the concepts of Messiah that were concurrent in Judaism, and rejected every one of them. As I/we reflect on the many scripture passages where Yeshua refers to himself as the Human Being (Son of Man), we will unpack this term and its implications for understanding Yeshua’s life and ministry and for our lives and ministries.

Insurrection — see the review of Peter Rollins’ Insurrection.

Kingdom of God — The New Testament term for God’s presence in the midst of life. The Kingdom has both “now” and to come” dimensions. The “now” refers to the active resistance to the Domination Systems of this world. The “to come” projects our idealized expectations for the world’s living conforming to God’s presence. See Commonwealth of Peace and Justice*.

Nonviolence — Yeshua did not return evil for evil. Instead, he chose to resist the Domination System by nonviolent resistance. For Yeshua, nonviolence was not acquiescence or passivity in the face of Domination; inside, it was action that unmasked the violence of the system. Sometimes the response to the exposing of the system’s violence was behavior that was both radical and “absurd” (contrary to all common sense) — yet effective — for example, turning the other cheek.

Son of Man — see the Human Being

Way — The early followers of Yeshua* were not known as Christians. Instead, they were followers of the Way — that is, the Way taught and lived by Yeshua. This Way is the path to enlightenment, to peace and justice. It is a nonviolent Way of confronting the Domination System*, a Way of insurrection*, a Way leading to a cross. Welcome to the Way! Are you sure it’s the right path for you?

Wisdom’s Child —  see the Human Being*

Yeshua — In the church, we have been calling Yeshua (a Jewish man, who probably spoke Aramaic) by the Greek form of his name. I have chosen to use the Hebrew form for two reasons  First, it is what Yeshua would have been called by family, disciples, and detractors. Second, the name “Jesus” carries a lot of baggage with it. We can hardly just say “Jesus” with immediately adding “Christ,” and shortly thereafter, “Son of God who died for the sins of the world.” That is a lot of theology to pack into a name. It can easily sidetrack us from experiencing the man who was behind the gospel accounts.

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