This pointed question was posed by Zach Hoag in a brief conversation about Jesus and violence that I was following on Twitter over the new year:
Honest Q: Is there tension between the “Jesus-looking God” of neo-anabaptists & the “1st century Jewish Jesus” of the new perspectivists?
I am not an Anabaptist—though like many evangelicals today I have a lot of respect for the moral and theological integrity of the Anabaptist position; and I can’t say for sure what the Anabaptist God looks like. But I imagine that he eschews violence, in some sense shares in the suffering of the cross, has been re-cast in the image of Jesus, is opposed to empire, identifies with the oppressed… and must have been deeply disappointed with the church for its post-Constantinian accommodation to political and cultural power.
Is that the God that we find in the New Testament? For that matter, is this the Jesus that we find in the New Testament? Here are some new perspectivist or, as I prefer, narrative-historical thoughts on the matter….