I’m not certain when Brian Zahnd‘s name was first made known to me. Maybe in the documentary Hellbound? or in a blogpost on Patheos or a book endorsement for something Brad Jersak wrote. Whatever the case, I’m glad I picked up on this author. I’ve been meaning to read these two books ever since I watched a short video pitch for Beauty will Save the World.
Zahnd voice is very easy reading, practically sermons on paper. But the messages are powerful and straightforward and extremely countercultural. These books share the best descriptions of what salvation through Jesus means and the unavoidable challenge and beauty of what it means to participate in this salvation.
The name of Jesus and the message of Jesus and perhaps even the death of Jesus have been buried in centuries of violence and empire and dominance. Zahnd takes a heavy chisel to notions of using Jesus as King as a means to dominate the world – especially through American imperialism. He also reveals the stunning beauty of the historical and pivotal figure of Jesus as the bringer of Peace.
A handful of the gems:
The Crowd is always wrong. The Crowd always seeks a scapegoat.
Jesus death reveals the ugliness of the world founded on violence.
Violence can never be justified in the name of Jesus.
Goodness and Truth are only good and true if they are also beautiful.
Christianity is beautiful because of the cross.
The last days began with the resurrection, the last days of peace foretold by Isaiah.
Jesus reset the world on an axis of peace rather than an axis of violence (founding the new city on peace rather than Cain’s city built on violence)
Strong recommendation. Also he has other books.