NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From one of the world’s most influential spiritual thinkers, a long-awaited book exploring what it means that Jesus was called “Christ,” and how this forgotten truth can restore hope and meaning to our lives.
“Anyone who strives to put their faith into action will find encouragement and inspiration in the pages of this book.”—Melinda Gates
In his decades as a globally recognized teacher, Richard Rohr has helped millions realize what is at stake in matters of faith and spirituality. Yet Rohr has never written on the most perennially talked about topic in Christianity: Jesus. Most know who Jesus was, but who was Christ? Is the word simply Jesus’s last name? Too often, Rohr writes, our understandings have been limited by culture, religious debate, and the human tendency to put ourselves at the center.
Drawing on scripture, history, and spiritual practice, Rohr articulates a transformative view of Jesus Christ as a portrait of God’s constant, unfolding work in the world. “God loves things by becoming them,” he writes, and Jesus’s life was meant to declare that humanity has never been separate from God—except by its own negative choice. When we recover this fundamental truth, faith becomes less about proving Jesus was God, and more about learning to recognize the Creator’s presence all around us, and in everyone we meet.
Thought-provoking, practical, and full of deep hope and vision, The Universal Christ is a landmark book from one of our most beloved spiritual writers, and an invitation to contemplate how God liberates and loves all that is.
The average evangelical will feel uneasy will Father Rohr’s understanding God, that God created and sustains all things and therefore is present in all things. But most evangelicals would benefit by allowing their God out of his little box to stretch his legs. He didn’t just save a select few from this world through Jesus. He created this world and intends to redeem it. God is bigger than your box.45
This book in intellectually amazingly well researched and footnoted from a broad swath of sources both religious, secular and scientific. The early first half of the book on the universal Christ, I liked very much, and it puts together a beautiful mosaic of spiritual insights from these sources. My concerns are where the book travels next, to a Buddhist/Christianity world view that weakens Christian foundational ideas that millions have used over the centuries to mature and transition to the next life. Richard falls into his own trap and shows a strong dualistic mind that cannot see or love the wonderful and spiritual foundations of the Western Culture and at the same time embracing his new idea. He focuses primarily on our Western Culture failures. He cannot love and embrace both. He is like the adolescents of the Woodstock generation, hating their parents culture, and their bad fruit still haunt’s us today. I would suggest Richard read Factfulness by Rosling on how the Western World, blessed by the universal Christ, has lifted almost all the world out of poverty on a tract of abundance to come. Also, he should read Abundance by Diamandis on a view of the future. A review of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Church, both Catholic and Protestant, will also be most helpful for him to find the real presence and true body of Christ. He needs a more loving and diverse team to advise him. A team that is diverse enough to include those that appreciate the great Christian religions, art, architecture, economics, science, organizations, and governments that have emanated from the Western World, although not perfect, and prone to occasional great failures (war’s, depressions, etc.), a culture to be cherished as are good parents. These traits of Western Civilization have steadily lifted mankind to the new great heights we are seeing today.25