From the pen of Paul F. M. Zahl, formerly Dean of Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal) in Birmingham, Alabama and now dean of Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, comes a provocative, yet timely, Christological meditation. Zahl argues for a Jesus of Nazareth who was essentially dis-continuous with Second Temple Judaism and who inaugurated in his person and work a new covenant religion of grace, namely, Christianity. Hence the title: The First Christian. One immediately senses the relevance and potential explosiveness of Zahl's concise but theologically mature paperback upon a moment's reflection on the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, particularly the tirelessly repeated accusation of anti-Semitism.
Rev. John J. Bombaro (Ph.D., King's College, University of London) is the parish minister at Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego, California and a lecturer in theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego.
Issue: "Peace on Earth" Nov./Dec. 2004 Vol. 13 No. 6 Page number(s): 43
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