Christ is not Jesus’ last name?!

David Bradshaw
May 2, 2019 · 3 min read

THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe
by Richard Rohr
Convergent Books (March 5, 2019)
Reviewed by David Bradshaw, My Idea Factory


Question: What percentage of the 2.3 Billion Christians alive worldwide — both Catholic and Protestant — would you guess have been taught that they are presently living in a “sin-soaked” world in need of salvation to avoid eternal damnation? My guess: about 99%.

But imagine taking a fresh look at both Scripture and history — and suddenly rediscovering the truth that every single human being on earth is living in a “Christ-soaked” world, and thanks to Christ Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, hell has forever been destroyed!

A spiritually game-changing book

How’s that for Good News? It’s the ultimate spiritual game-changer! But, does it sound too good to be true?

Richard Rohr’s newest book THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST reveals a profoundly new, yet very historic understanding of how it is possible that every human being is ‘in Christ’ — a reality that could change our perception of the world and everything in it.

Rohr brings a sorely needed healing balm to a hurting world by celebrating the things the entire human race has in common. In doing so Richard lifts the reader’s spirit above petty doctrinal issues. He offers readers an invitation to join him on a journey of fresh Scriptural understanding based on a half-century of Franciscan teaching, ministry and personal spiritual experience.

There’s something very poetic about the release of THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST on ‘Fat Tuesday’ (March 5, 2019) a day which marks the beginning of Lent season — usually full of feasting and celebration — prior to a time of reflection upon the humility, suffering and death of Jesus leading up to the earth-shaking resurrection of Christ.

“Incarnation is the oldest Christian story. Through Christ, God is pouring God’s self into all creation. To be Christian, then, is to see Christ in every thing,” writes Rohr on his book’s jam-packed resource collection page which is full of quotes, videos and book endorsements.

THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST puts forth six major themes which all originate in Scripture, yet for many (including myself) these truths lay hidden in plain sight and require a seasoned teacher like Rohr to coax readers to reframe them in a larger perspective. The key themes include; 1) Christ is not Jesus’ last name. 2) Accept being fully accepted. 3) See Christ in every thing. 4) Original goodness. 5) Love is the meaning. 6) A sacred wholeness.

Rohr’s style of teaching is very loving and gentle, yet transformative. He often poses thoughtful questions rather than making dogmatic or inflammatory statements. He is careful to explain this “forgotten reality” using abundant Scriptural references, starting with a reevaluation of Genesis 1, which reveals “original goodness” inherent in all of God’s creation (including mankind) prior to “original sin” in Genesis 3.

Rohr recommends re-reading a few key foundational New Testament Scriptures with a “beginners mind” starting with; John 1:1–18, Ephesians 1: 3–11, Colossians 1:3–14, Hebrews 1 and I John 1:1–3.

I am still working on a more detailed review the book, but I wanted to share this short, introductory review. For more of Richard Rohr book reviews visit: )

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