Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jesus Needs New PR

searching around on the internetz and i found this from a pastor reviewing Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis book:

Living the “Jesus life” is not the essence of Christianity and neither is obeying the commands of Jesus (as important as that is). The essence of Christianity centers upon the work of Christ on behalf of sinners (i.e. substitutionary atonement). This is the matter of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:3) that was the prioritized message of Jesus’ apostles (e.g. 1 Corinthians 2:2)
followed by other 'yeah-that's-right-you-tell'ems" such as:

I’ve read some of Crossan’s books and they are very, very troubling. They are attempting to turn Christianity into a crossless religion. The Cross brings offense and always will. I say “let them alone. They are the blind leading the blind.” 
oy! adventures in missing the point! i love how people put Paul over Jesus. Paul DOES NOT talk about Jesus. Paul is largely not concerned with talking about who Jesus is. Instead Paul is a church conflict manager, he is concerned with POWER and AUTHORITY in church and that is why he spends so much time putting himself on par with the other apostles and giving out unsolicited advice to church communities.

here are two thoughts for readers of this blog and Christians in general: If living the life of Jesus isn't the point, you're wrong. if the eschatology isn't a participatory one, you're wrong. no if's, and's, or but's about it.

I like Crossan and Borg and they don't lead people away from the cross, they help people understand what got Jesus there, namely HIS LIFE! When Jesus said TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME, he's asking ppl to live a life like his that will ultimately lead to your death, literally or metaphorically (dying to yourself and such like). Christianity at its root (Jesus) is non-violent and anti-empire (due to the simple fact that all empires endorse violence). The early church was also non-violent and anti-empire...and that tradition has been carried on by some, though not all, Christians. while the cross does bring offense, Crossan doesn't do away with it, he does away of the literal resurrection: cross is still prominent.

I'm against people taking an anti-empire, anti-conventional wisdom and dumbing it down to "be a good citizen, believe what we teach you, and tithe." Doctrines and tradition are important, being a good citizen is responsible and a good fulfillment of the social contract, but don't think for a minute that these make one a Christian.

All this to say I'm sick of slash-and-burn Christianity, I'm sick of other Christians calling other Christians NOT Christian (unChristian yes, fair game, we can act unChristian many a times). I'm sick of anti-science, anti-intellectual, and anti-liberal/critical method Christianity. When i read crap like that, i feel as though i'm an outsider in my own faith; a thinker surrounded by over-emotional feelers.  i know i'm not alone and i'm on a mission to find such people that are dying to hear people like Borg, Crossan, and Bell, and give Jesus some new PR.

image found at SINFEST where the copyright is held: copyright 2008 by Tatsuya Ishida/Museworks used here for the intended purpose to get all you jerks to go to that site and check it out!

5 comments:

chris said...

"When i read crap like that, i feel as though i'm an outsider in my own faith; a thinker surrounded by over-emotional feelers. i know i'm not alone and i'm on a mission to find such people that are dying to hear people like Borg, Crossan, and Bell, and give Jesus some new PR."

You, my friend, are not alone. I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE SAID. I too love Crossan and Borg, and struggle to follow Jesus teachings in a faith that is dominated by my way way or the highway mentality. Hang in there, brother!

Sabio Lantz said...

Ouch, the preacher has spoken.
Amen preacher, go out there and get 'em. May all the changes you hope for come true!
Interesting, thanx.
I will have to read Crossan and Borg. I read Crossan long time ago --- I agreed with his criticisms and could not understand why he remained a Christian. Every liberal Christian has a different answer for that. I find the different answers interesting.

Anglican Boy said...

Now do you agree because it is logical or because you agree with it, or both?

societyvs said...

I am starting to become more vocal about the Conservative right Christian view in my own posts...no more hiding for them. The stuff they are saying needs to be said 'in the light' or 'not at all'. Just so happens I have a flashlight (ie: a blog).

This is another classic example of cease and desist Christianity. The right has a major viewpoint that the left (or progressives) are not to be included in the Christian conversation anymore...well they're wrong and they're trying to hold up a straw fort. Just so happens I also have matches with me (ie: a blog and study tools).

Nothing wrong with Borg or Crossan - both are very well studied and they should have all the right in the world to share what they've learned.

Sabio Lantz said...

Ya know, AB, I will just leave that for you to figure out -- got to leave a little mystery in your life.