Outlandish: An Unlikely Messiah, a Messy Ministry, and the Call to Mobilize

Outlandish: An Unlikely Messiah, a Messy Ministry, and the Call to Mobilize

by Derek Penwell


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Jesus did everything wrong: Poor judgment picking a team of disciples. Ministering to the wrong people. Angering the wrong people. Having outrageous expectations of his followers. Questionable teaching methods. Allowing others to have unrealistic opinions about his mission. A humiliating end followed by an improbable surprise ending. And then, somehow, inspiring millions to attempt to change the world in his name.

Outlandish: An Unlikely Messiah, a Messy Ministry, and the Call to Mobilize shows how Jesus's ministry flew in the face of conventional wisdom, a ministry that would be described as misguided, mistaken, and miserable - and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Then, fast-forwarding two thousand years, learn how that kind of ministry is sorely needed today and the political, social, and organizational lessons to be learned from Jesus's radically different ministry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780827231665
Publisher: Chalice Press
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Pages: 178
Sales rank: 1,193,875
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Derek Penwell is an author, speaker, pastor, and activist. He is the senior pastor of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky and a former lecturer at the University of Louisville in Religious Studies and Humanities.

Derek has a Ph.D. in humanities from the University of Louisville, and is the author of articles ranging from church history to aesthetic theory and the tragic emotions. He is also the author of The Mainliner's Survival Guide to the Post-Denominational World, from Chalice Press, about how mainline denominations can avoid despair in an uncertain world. His newest book, Outlandish: An Unlikely Messiah, a Messy Ministry, and the Call to Mobilize (Chalice Press, 2019), focuses on understanding the political nature of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection as a model for forming communities of resistance capable of challenging oppression in the pursuit of peace and justice.

He is an activist and advocate on local, state, and national levels on issues of racial justice, LGBTQ fairness, interfaith engagement, and immigrant and refugee rights.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction viii

Stanley Milgram, the Shock Box, and the Need for People to Say "No" xii

How I See This Book Shaping Up xvi

Chapter 1 The Worst Recruiter in History 1

Finding Out You Have It within You to Be a Jerk 1

The Disciples: Going about It All Wrong 4

Why Is This Good News? 8

What Do We Do? 14

Chapter 2 The Worst Social Judgment 18

Reaping the Poison Fruit of the Purity System 18

Turning the World Upside Down 20

Jesus the Priest 28

The Good Samaritan 32

Chapter 3 The Wrong Bunch of Folks to Anger 36

It's All Politics 36

The Lord's Prayer 39

The Cleansing of the Temple 43

The Prophet: A Long and Honorable Tradition of Annoying "the Man" 46

Interlude: On Being a Smartass for Jesus 50

Chapter 4 The Worst Moral Philosopher 54

Jesus as Virtue Ethicist, Not Hypocrisy Hunter 54

A Faithful Community of Virtue Requires Character 59

Case Study: The Rich Guy 66

Jesus: Forever Mixing Morality and Politics 68

You Say You Want a Revolution? 70

Chapter 5 The Worst Teaching Style 77

Dangerous Speech 77

The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven 80

The Parable of the Good Samaritan 85

The Parable of the Two Sons and the Parable of the Wicked Tenants 90

Chapter 6 What a Horrible Messiah 100

What Is a Messiah Anyway? 100

The Seeds of Rebellion 107

The Cross and the Lynching Tree 112

So What? 115

Chapter 7 The Resurrection as God's Ultimate Judgment 117

God's Big "No" to the Powers and Principalities 117

Real Body or Metaphorical Body? (An Attempt at a Disclaimer) 118

The True Meaning of Easter 120

The Church as the Embodiment of the Resurrection 123

The Judgment of God Is Upon the Church 125

Chapter 8 What Do We Do? 131

The Extraordinary Case of Le Chambon: "But Above All, Resist, Resist, Resist." 131

But How? The Practical Nature of Resistance 137

Getting the Right Mindset 139

A Practical Word about Community 144

Actual Things You Can Do 148

More Practical Stuff for the Resistance Movement (In Jesus' Name) 150

10 Common Myths about Jesus 154

Bibliography 156

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