Book review: Resurrection City
by Peter Goodwin Heltzel
In the book of Revelation, a heavenly city descends to earth, and God takes up residence there to govern the earth in godly justice. This city is a metaphor for the place of God’s presence, a place where God’s resurrection power is fully manifest.
Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of a beloved city was driven by an idealism that another world was genuinely possible. King dreamed of its citizens working together in love to end poverty and war.
Heltzel posits that this dream is indeed possible, in what he calls a Theory of Improvisation. He compares this radical Christian movement to jazz music, with its cooperative improvisation. Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday … can you hear the call? Improvising like a jazz musician, Jesus took the prophetic call to love God and neighbor to a new level. Jesus, too, had a dream: he explained that his mission on earth was the ultimate Jubilee.
Heltzel calls this “Jubilee justice.” He dares us to love like Jesus loves. He walks us through the visions of Thomas Jefferson, Sojourner Truth, Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King Jr. People who shared the vision of Jesus and strove toward the same goal.
This is an intelligently-written book with a unique niche and a much needed message for today’s Christianity.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., © 2012, 203 pages