In the past, most of Jesus’ practical teaching was ignored by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. The establishment chose instead to concentrate on private sinfulness and personal salvation and, as Brian McLaren says, an “evacuation plan” into the next world.
.. growing recognition that Jesus was clearly concerned about the specific healing and transformation of real persons and human society “on earth as it is in heaven.”
.. The Church, more than Jesus, historically focused on doctrinal belief and moral stances, which ask almost nothing of us in terms of real change. They just define groups—often in an oppositional way.
.. Critical biblical scholarship is occurring on a broad ecumenical level, especially honest historical and anthropological scholarship about Jesus as a Jew in the culture of his time. This leads us far beyond the liberal reductionism and the conservative fundamentalism that divide so many churches.
We now see the liberal/conservative divide as a bogus and finally unhelpful framing of the issues.