Yesterday I mentioned that I purchased a new book while at Genesee Abbey. That book, “Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom” is an incredible piece of thought and writing and yet it’s really easy to read and a book that I have not been able to put down. I’m almost done with it and it propelled me to visit the Abbey again today. I had the day off due to the Columbus Day holiday. I have not read Albert Nolan’s earlier work, “Jesus before Christianity” and so this is the first time I’ve read anything he wrote. The book is filled with many memorable quotes and here is one of my favorites. “In turning the assumptions of his time upside down, Jesus rejected any legalistic and moralizing form of religion. To this day there are people who see religion as nothing more than a system of moral laws and principles sanctioned by God. God makes the laws, judges us in terms of them, and in the next life distributes appropriate rewards and punishments. The same culture of blame can be found among those who are not religious at all. Wherever there is a problem, people tend to look around for someone to blame. They look for a scapegoat.”
Nolan mentions later in the book that the one saint who came closest to this ideal is of course St. Francis of Assisi. This book is fabulous and it’s a discussion of Jesus’ spirituality without all the discourse of doctrine, dogma and theology that often fills other books. I think you can enjoy this book regardless of your age and regardless of your denomination. I think even people from other traditions would enjoy this book. There is no proselytizing. It is just radically Jesus.
jesus, albert nolan, spirituality