Sunday, October 26, 2014

An "ordinary" Jesus?

It is true that people find it easier to relate to those individuals who more like them rather than less like them. That does seem to be a part of human nature. So, for marketing/public relations purposes much of what Kevin Emmert writes about in "You Need a More Ordinary Jesus" does make sense. However, it only makes sense in that specific context.

It is rather entertaining that this piece appears on Christianity Today's website. Promoting Jesus as a sort of every-man is not all that new. It is very problematic from a philosophical and theological perspective. This is what amuses me so much. If you think about it critically for more than a minute the innate contradiction of this approach should be blatantly obvious. To virtually any Christian the most import aspect and message of the Jesus figure is the resurrection. Coming back from the dead is about as far from ordinary as you can get. And, through your death and resurrection "saving" all humanity is an equally extraordinary feat.

Accepting all the supernatural elements infused in the Jesus figure is rather preposterous but it is equally foolish to try to trick yourself into believing that stripping out all those elements somehow makes the reputed messiah more palatable to current and/or potential followers. How? Who really expects the guy next-door to be a savior of all humankind? If you are looking for a messiah wouldn't you want a bigger-than-life figure to serve that function?

Sorry Mr. Emmert but a "more ordinary Jesus" is just as alien and untenable as a fully supernatural one.

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