“Binding the Strongman”: Martin’s Inspiration for Non-Violent Activism has its roots in Ched Myers and Mark’s Gospel

21st March 2019

Seeing the life and ministry of Jesus through the perspective of non-violent activism was not my idea. I got it from Ched Myers in the first place, with his study of Mark’s Gospel, “Binding the Strongman”.

I read it in condensed form during Bible studies in the 1990’s. While I was at Seminary, I used to go to a small room in a church near Oxford Street, to meet Chris Cole, Virginia Moffat and others to read and discuss what it had to say. We had one copy of the full size book, Bibles, and we each had copies of the abridged version Chris had put together from articles Myers had published in Sojourners magazine in the USA.

It blew my mind, and I think its blown many others since. It was electrifying. My only criticism of it was that at times it could be a bit reductionist, reducing what were deeply multi-layered events and actions of to only the political dimension. But its not called a ‘political reading’ of the Gospel for nothing. Myers highlights the amazing challenge of Jesus’ call to ‘follow the way of the cross’ and his journey to Jerusalem, towards that final confrontation that led to the cross. And then the Resurrection. And even that was illegal.

The original book is published by Orbis and its still available. At over 500 pages, it’s not the type of short book I usually like to read. That’s why I still like the 48 page abridged version. Both can be inspirational for a more radical discipleship, and I’m sure some readers of the abridged version will want to get the full size one.

Click to see Martin’s blog entry and download the abridged version of “Binding the Strongman”.