**Culture Watch** The Mystery of the Resurrected Rabbi Jesus provides the way of faith. by David A. Wade As an evangelical, I challenge any pseudo-gnostic ideas of Jesus. The Jesus Seminar often appears arrogant in its treatment of the foundations of Christian belief. Yet after an hour of listening to John Dominic Crossan speak, my opinion of him as a person had gently relaxed. While I don't agree with many of his conclusions, the discussion was refreshing. I too want to make Jesus live again, so he is historically relevant and available to a cynical, overstimulated, 21st-century audience. The discussion rekindles our connection to the early, passionate, all-too-human communities who wrestled with the mystery of a resurrected rabbi. CROSSAN'S writings have been a media lightening rod in these discussions. His works include The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (Harper SanFrancisco, 1993), a book unfolding the academic foundations of his arguments; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Harper SanFrancisco, 1993), a retelling of his conclusions told in a narrative form to allow for popular reading; and The Essential Jesus (Harper SanFrancisco, 1994), a small book containing what Crossan believes to be the original words of Jesus. This last book provides a good introduction to the entire topic. Crossan's Jesus is radical in his call to social transformation and spiritual renewal. The Jesus Crossan describes declares a "brokerless kingdom"-a place for the powerless and dispossessed, with no institutions, no power structures built in the name of God. The Jesus Crossan illumines would not have prescribed the church of today. THE CURRENT REVIVAL of interest in the historical Jesus has created a mini-publishing boom. One of the most interesting is John Meier's A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Two volumes of a projected three-volume project are currently available. It is part of the Anchor Bible Reference Series, with the first volume covering the basic arguments and assessments that Meier proposes, then continuing with a discussion of Jesus' early life and roots. The second volume discusses the years of public ministry. Meier differs from Crossan in several important areas. First, Meier is much more orthodox in his portrayal of Jesus. For him, the miracles of Jesus were not deceptions or metaphorical explanations of an internal kingdom. Rather, as herald of God's kingdom, Jesus performed miracles to elucidate his message. In addition, it appears that Meier is seeking a consensus opinion regarding Jesus-one that seeks to bring the best modern thinking together. Writing from within the academic heart of American Catholicism, Meier brings enormous scholarship to his work as well as a great passion for the person of Jesus. Another author with great passion, but a perspective similar to Crossan's, is fellow seminar member Marcus Borg. His latest work, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, is the story of his personal rediscovery of Christ. After moving away from his naive childhood idea of Jesus, as well as the disillusionment he experienced in seminary, Borg tells of his re-encounter with the God of his youth, but this time through the eyes of an adult not easily given to belief. While including many of the same theological constructs as Crossan, Borg's writing is more intimate. Many will be able to relate to his sense of loss of faith as an adult, and rejoice with him upon its rediscovery. Orbis Books has published a collection of essays that broaden, dispute, apply, and dissect the theories and work of Crossan and the seminar, titled Jesus and Faith. While taking the seminar's work seriously, the various essayists move at the image of the historical Jesus from different perspectives, including seeking its application for feminist theologians and liberation theology.