The point of Christianity has been to get to heaven. Its real point is changing human meaning here on earth.
Using the seminal anthropology of Rene Girard and drawing out its radical implications Virtually Christian reconfigures the traditional framework of theology. Gone are the heavenly otherworld and its metaphysical God. In their place is revealed a God deeply implicated in the human story and laboring with us for a transformed earth. The identity and mission of Jesus become fully understandable against this background. The consequences for teaching and practice are enormous and especially relevant for emerging church Christians. This book provides a vital contemporary reading of both the gospel message and classical Christian thought.
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This new book by a prolific Christian writer puts forward for our consideration a different understanding of Christianity. It is non-traditional and challenging, arguing that the meaning of Christ has been misunderstood and distorted for centuries by the traditional churches, both Catholic and Protestant . ............ Many readers will find his arguments hard to accept but others will see them as a new and refreshing look at the Christianity we take for granted.
For people who think our various Christian institutions and systems of belief need only a few minor tweaks or cosmetic enhancements, Virtually Christian will be like a jolt of hi-test espresso. They may not be ready for it, but it will wake them up. For people who already feel something in our faith community is deeply off track and in need of serious realignment, it will be like a well-crafted wine, deliciously combining insights from Jesus' life and teaching, medieval courtly love poetry, contemporary film, philosophy, biblical studies, anthropology, semiotics, and more. Tony Bartlett brings a needed voice to an important conversation emerging across denominations and around the world. ~ Brian McLaren, author/speaker/activist
In Virtually Christian Tony Bartlett makes a stunning presentation of Christianity as the transformation of desireâ€”from violence to non-violence, from retribution to forgiveness, from competition to compassion, from acquisitiveness to giving. In a series of probing meditationsâ€”organized in terms of the contemporary world of signs and virtualityâ€”he seeks to return Christianity to its founding experiences, recall it from eternity to time and the earth, redirect theology from metaphysics to the movements of experience, and reform the church from a hierarchical corporation to local communities inspired by the multiple movements of the spirit. The style manages to be fluent, personal, and testimonial, but also erudite, and it is uniquely cut to fit the persuasive call for transformation that it makes. This needs to be heard. ~ John D. Caputo, philosopher/theologian, author
What a tour de force! Like a highly skilled juggler, Bartlett puts many balls into the air, and then allows our eyes to rest on the extraordinary shape which comes into view as their movement together allows us to glimpse something entirely new. The result is an immensely exciting sense of what Jesus was and is really all about, has done and is doing, at last giving an anthropological account of how he has inescapably affected everything. Difficult in places, but yielding rich insights, this book is hugely suggestive as to who we are following and what will be the shape of our discipleship in the future. ~ James Alison, Catholic Priest, theologian and author
Tony Bartlett brings a needed voice to an important conversation emerging across denominations and around the world. ~ Brian McLaren, author speaker and activist
Tony Bartlett makes a stunning presentation of Christianity as the transformation of desire from violence to non violence from retribution to forgiveness from competition to compassion from acquisitiveness to giving. ~ John D. Caputo, philosopher/theologian, author