Mark Osler’s “Prosecuting Jesus”


It’s not often that I link to something I write for the WACOAN, but there is no better way to introduce you to Mark Osler and encourage you to read his new book, “Prosecuting Jesus,” than to share a Q&A I did with him in July.

We live in a season of polarization in which we define ourselves by our boxes. Osler kind of blows that up. He has stuff in lots of boxes, and he’s constantly challenging his own beliefs and assumptions, moving those boxes around, rearranging the contents. His job as a law professor and advocate for clemency is to trouble the water. He loves his Bible, especially the Gospels, but he’ll trouble you if you get the chance to hear him. He holds himself and everyone around him to a higher standard.

That’s because in a world of hashtags, where retweeting a celebrity counts for activism, Osler and his students and colleagues are working to reform the criminal justice system. He never lets us forget that Jesus was a prisoner, too, one executed by capital punishment.

There are two moments in the book that undid me, one in Rome, Italy, and one in Manchacha, Texas. Life isn’t safe. Not for the people you meet in the book, like Jeanne Bishop, who have lost loved ones to murder. Not for any of us. It wasn’t safe for our Savior, either.

Here’s the link to the WACOAN, if you’d like to read the article.


  1. Delighted to see Mark Osler here and at Tweetspeak on the same day!

  2. What Monica said ( I’m a few days late, but still…)
    Marks work with students sounds intriguing; I liked this phrase, “in a world of hashtags, where retweeting a celebrity counts for activism….”
    He sounds like a remarkable teacher.