A Book for Everyone Who Wants to Take Jesus Seriously
I used to say that Christians spend half their time explaining why Jesus couldn't possibly have meant what he clearly said, but I'm afraid I was mistaken. We Christians don't have to explain away what Jesus said; we don't notice it in the first place.
Jesus talked about loving God with your whole being (which is beyond imagining) and loving your neighbor as yourself. He talked about taking up your cross, about giving your cloak as well as your coat, about going a second mile, and about loaning to those who ask. He told us to exchange for a pearl of great price, and leave concern for our food and clothing to God. But we just carry on....
In short, Christians operate mostly in the pragmatic realm of money and power. If we want to lead a full life, we expect to spend a lot of money. If we want to reform the world, we try to do it by using money and power. It does not occur to us that the realm of darkness could better be resisted by the weapons of another realm - by servanthood, weakness, prayer, and truth. For we fight not against flesh and blood.
But we modern people are not resisting darkness or fighting evil; we are working for progress, and we will do so comfortably, negotiating from strength. The suffering servant is a religious oddity, from another realm. So we reject that realm, thereby choosing shallowness and perpetuating hollowness.
But for people concerned for the world or themselves, for people who sense the inadequacy of our pragmatic efforts at improvement, wisdom from another realm deserves to be explored - at least by Christians. Encouraging that exploration is what this book is about.