The Challenge of Jesus
A powerful new progressive Christian resource
In The Challenge of Jesus, renowned historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, presents his life’s work exploring the matrix of Jesus’ unique time and place. Drawing on scholarly text, excavation and history, Dr. Crossan introduces us to the flesh and blood people who shaped the world into which Jesus was born. In these DVD presentations, we meet a Jesus we’ve not known before.
Dr. Crossan’s presentations are produced in a revolutionary new multimedia format that helps viewers comprehend the dynamic, multifaceted interactions between the Roman Imperial program of conquest and the struggles of occupied Israel in the century in which Jesus acted and taught.
A companion Resource Guide and downloadable PDFs provide class and small group leaders with everything they need to lead sessions and spark spirited discussions about Dr. Crossan’s provocative presentations.
Perfect for Church and Small Groups
The Challenge of Jesus product consists of:
• A two-disc DVD set with 16 video sessions of 15-18 minutes each
• 160-page Resource Guide with discussion starters, in-depth questions, the fully transcribed program text and photos
A Depiction of Jesus We’ve Not Seen Before
Dr. Crossan pinpoints the history and circumstances that helped Jesus’ message of nonviolent resistance to evil have such a powerful impact against Imperial Rome. Moving beyond Jesus as an abstract figure of scripture, Dr. Crossan paints us a vivid portrait of Jesus the man. Through it all, the presentation, the Resource Guide, and the included discussion starters and questions help educators and students alike draw their own meaning from Dr. Crossan’s presentations.
Reviews from Scholars and Educators
“Dr. Crossan’s approach to Bible Interpretation is so logical, and scholarly, that only die-hard fundamentalists present on that day are likely to find themselves … well, uncomfortable.”
Maggie Parker, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, Houston, TX
“I have used “The Challenge of Jesus” as a discussion program in our congregation during the season of Advent and now again in the season of Lent. It has proved to be very informative and thought provoking for the persons who have participated. It has changed greatly their thinking about Jesus and their understanding of the Matrix surrounding His life, death and resurrection. I have often recommended it to friends and colleagues.”
The Rev. Joseph Stabile, Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX
“I followed the series by myself and was quite satisfied: I am thinking of sharing with others regarding it like a traveling library. I liked Dom Corssan’s approach to the subject by using Matrix of Time and Place in which Jesus spent his life. It is good to unlearn the way he is usually described. It is a sound theology.”
Michiko Clara Morgan, Arlington Heights, IL
“John Dominic Crossan’s Challenge of Jesus is a masterpiece. Crossan is like a master weaver whose matrix functions as loom holding the warp and weft threads of peace and justice in gripping tension. Jesus’ ministry and mission is portrayed in the matrix of Roman Realpolitik. The work has the effect of challenging any attempt to follow Jesus without attention to historical moment and meaning. It is risky study for the seriously minded person who wants more than the spiritual pabulum of a spiritualized Christ.”
Barry Click, First Baptist Church, Austin, TX
“Extraordinarily good and extraordinarily appropriate for use in classes, whether in churches or college and university courses. Dom Crossan is a brilliant and gifted teacher, and the production values of this series are suberb. This is education about Jesus for the 21st century.”
Marcus J. Borg, Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Church, Portland, OR
“The people who most need to see and experience ‘The Challenge of Jesus’ are those who imagine themselves to be well grounded already – people like me. We sleepers will awaken! The material here is both compelling and compellingly presented, and it will change forever the way we read and hear the New Testament. In these films Dom Crossan doesn’t just supply us with the all-important historical context – although simply doing that would be a great gift. What he does is bring that context to glorious life. A genuine triumpy of deep scholarship and brilliant pedagogy.”
Peter Laarman, Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting, Los Angeles, CA
“After finishing the full Living the Question DVD Series last year, our group of mature Christian women ranging in age from 50-80 years of age was searching for a meaningful, challenging study that would take us further into the raw truth of Jesus’ gospel, so I suggested Crossan’s. We have now completed the first two sections of the series and are being transformed by Crossan’s honest, clear scholarship and his faith expressed with sincerity and humor. As American Christians raised on “God and Country”, it is difficult for us to see the fallacies of “just wars” and Jesus as a “conquering savior vanquishing our enemies”. Crossan gradually and convincingly places us in the matrix of Jesus, allowing us to see his (and our) world with his eyes of love, compassion and non-violent justice. We will be using “The Death of Jesus” as our Lenten study, and I am sure it will prove a powerful new insight into the Crucifixion and Resurrection.”
Patti Churner, First United Methodist Church, McKinney, TX