2004-09-22

Jesus cubed

I got the book right before my recent trip and was able to read the first four chapters. So here are some thoughts.

I love the advisory "for mature audiences" at the beginning. This conversation sometimes gets tough and we need to be willing to tackle the challenging issues like maturing Jesus followers.

Jesus cubed is my take on the three chapters on Jesus. not sure if it was intentional but Brian seems to map the path much of the American church has plod during the modern era.

Jesus to the first power - an individualized Jesus (at least seven expressions) shaped by individual experiences. Though this chapter was pretty non threatening as compared to what comes next I found myself asking "Is there anyway to experience a more holistic whole Jesus?" or "will it be forever driven by context and experience in the western world?"

Jesus to the second power - a codified Jesus, expressed through a cultural lexicon (church jargon)that determines who is in and who is out. Language is powerful. How we talk about jesus is a s important as what we say. How can the conversation be more inclusive without being meaningless?

Jesus to the third power - a fragmented Jesus disconnected from the biblical narrative Christianity is only through the lens of the American cultural context. Would jeuss be a Christian? I don't think so. Besides the problem of his Jewish birth. As Brian points out I doubt if much of what we claim as traditional Christianity would be recognizable as what he taught. How can we reclaim the biblical narrative (especially Jesus teaching, with the modernist interpretation of Paul cold-filtered out) as a starting point for practicing faith today?

andre

1 comment:

Paul said...

I loved the way Brian described the different views of Jesus' importance by the various denominations. Following it up with the challenge that a generous orthodoxy would include all of those facets reminded me very much of a series of talks he gave on a few years ago about 5 different ways to worship, some of which were pulled from different denominations' worship styles. Growing up in a pentacostal church, hearing those talks on worship (one of which was on 'the expectancy of pentacostals in worship') was the first time since leaving the pentacostal church that I felt some redemptive quality about their approach to Christianity for my life . . . I felt that challenge again when I read this chapter to understand all of those different ways of viewing Jesus in such a way where they all can impact me.


That chapter on language was great, I was especially hit by the analogy of how some Christians seem to act as if 'Jesus is Lord' means 'Jesus is president'- all he is going to do is provide for me to make my life cushy. I think this is something that I struggle with and felt challenged by. On that note, as I was driving to work this morning, I was following a minivan that had a bumpersticker that said 'Couples for Christ' and started thinking about how that statement must be interpreted by those who are our of the evangelical circle. It totally follows suit with that 'Jesus is president' message. I started thinking about what would be a better way of saying what that group is all about, maybe 'Couples following Christ' or 'Couples meeting Christ' or 'Couples serving Christ' . . . they're just not as catchy (but, I don't think 'catchy' is the point to begin with, or it shouldn't be, right?). To me, it just underscores the great importance of language, and how I need to be more aware of the words I speak.