The Spirited Book Club discusses Kurt Struckmeyer’s radical ‘way’ of Jesus in A Conspiracy of Love: Following Jesus in a Postmodern World.
In the first paragraph of the Introduction, titled “Not Just for Christians,” Struckmeyer writes: “Following Jesus is NOT just for Christians. The “way” taught by Jesus is not a particularly religious activity. Instead, it is a decisively human activity transcending all religions. It is not a way of believing; it is a way of living. It is centered in human love for one another and is focused on compassionate action to those in need. It involves our ethics, politics, and economics. The way of Jesus calls us to radical generosity, service, and the pursuit of justice. Jesus offered a vision for humanity’s future called the kingdom of God. It was not about a heavenly afterlife. It was and is about a better world for all people, especially the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the outcast.”
A Conspiracy of Love offers many different people ~ those who remain in the church, those who dwell on the margins, those who have left, and those who have never ventured near – with a life of faith that is both intelligent and passionate. It is an appeal for all people of passion, zeal, and courage to embrace a life of service, justice, and nonviolence, and by doing so become followers of the “way” of Jesus.
Reviews for A Conspiracy of Love
“This book is a gift. It speaks to those who continue their faith journey within mainline congregations, as well as those who have joined the “church alumni society.” It offers a clear and appealing message about Jesus to those who have struggled with how to live out their faith in the 21st century. Using clear and articulate words and images, Kurt unwraps a wonderful new way of understanding the Way of Jesus. His sources are wide and varied and build on the works of Borg and Crossan. I also greatly appreciated his many references to the words and letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. If I were asked for a recommendation for a book on Contemporary Christianity, this is the book I would suggest!” — Jim Liefeld
“This book powerfully calls us to see “traditional” Christianity as just that — a tradition, however longstanding it has been — a tradition that has lost its authority and power in a postmodern world. Struckmeyer challenges us to take up the cross of love and justice, the life of generosity, compassion, forgiveness, and inclusion, and follow Jesus today.” — Jimmy Reader
“As an ordained, now retired, pastor, I look for theologically stimulating material that does not condescend to tell me what and how to believe, yet challenges me to re-think and mull over my own relationship with God. Kurt Struckmeyer’s book fills this hunger well. A conspiracy of Love is clearly written, enlightening and under-girded with obvious research and creativity. … And yet the text can be easily understood by any non-seminary trained person. I think any reader will be opened up to the story of Jesus in ways not yet normally experienced.” — Scott S.
“Kurt Struckmeyer is a gifted writer and a clear thinker. He expertly distinguishes between the Gospel “of” Jesus and the Gospel “about” Jesus. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!” — Jeremy Vajda
FIRST BOOK CLUB MEETING for August 5: Parts I and II, Chapters 1-6
SECOND BOOK CLUB MEETING for August 19: Parts III and IV, Chapters 7-13
- Has your relationship to the church evolved or changed in anyway as you have matured?
- Has your understanding of God changed over your lifetime?
- Do you see a difference between religion and spirituality?
- Are the ethics of Jesus always situational, or are they bound to an absolute morality?
++Book discussion facilitated by Pr. Joel Bjerkestrand.