Bestselling biblical historian, Jean-Pierre Isbouts, weaves the origin stories of Christianity and the Lord's Prayer into a reinvigorating and urgent rallying cry for unity in the modern church.
Modern Christianity is in the midst of a veritable schism along the fault lines of society's culture wars. Only if we understand the origins of this split can we find our way to unity. Though few may realize it today, Jesus’s ministry unfolded in a crisis very similar to the one society is now battling. In fact, were it not for the truly catastrophic conditions in early 1st century Galilee, his reimagining of the three quintessential virtues of the Torah – social justice; compassion toward one another; and an abiding love of God – would have likely failed to attract a wide following.
Brilliantly tracing Jesus’s vision for the “Kingdom of God” from its origin up through modern times, Dr. Isbouts leads us to a possible antidote for the fiercely partisan moment in which we find ourselves: the Our Father. Then taking readers on a historically exhilarating tour of the Lord’s Prayer, The Fractured Kingdom shows us why the only doctrine Christians agree on might be our last hope for forging a more equal, compassionate, and loving society. What results is an eminently readable and undeniably essential work that addresses some of the most pressing issues now confronting communities of faith around the world.
“I never cease to be amazed at the extraordinary insights and expansive knowledge of Jean-Pierre Isbouts. The Fractured Kingdom speaks to not one generation, but many—past and future—about the perils of religious division. But, instead of leaving us there, Isbouts invites us to grab hold of the promises that an authentic, godly, and life-giving faith can offer the great divides of our time. With the craftmanship of a gifted maestro, Isbouts’ book is a symphony of possibility that reaches a crescendo of hope.”
—Russell J. Levenson Jr., author of Witness to Dignity: The Life and Faith of George H. W. and Barbara Bush
“The one subject Jesus spoke about more than any other was the Kingdom of God. In The Fractured Kingdom, Jean-Pierre Isbouts, using the Lord’s Prayer as a lens, vividly explicates what Jesus meant by God’s Kingdom. I believe this is a book for all of us who call ourselves Christians, regardless of what branch of the Church we call home. Isbouts shows us that what unites us is bigger than what divides us and that Jesus needs all of us to be about the work of Kingdom building.”
—Randolph M. Hollerith, dean of the Washington National Cathedral
Part I: Rediscovering the Historical Jesus
- A Land in Crisis
- The Lost Years of Jesus’ Youth
- Along the Banks of the Jordan
- Jesus Launches His Ministry
Part II: The Lord’s Prayer: A Blueprint for Unity
- Our Father, Hallowed Be Your Name
- Your Kingdom Come
- Give Us Each Day Our Bread
- And Forgive Us Our Debts/Sins
- Do Not Bring Us to the Test
- Deliver Us from Evil
- Reconstructing the Passion
Epilogue: The Splintering of Christianity