Just checking in. I promise I’ll have some original blog content in this space soon. In the meantime, you can read “Oh Jesus, Who Art Thou?” which I wrote for the print magazine back in 2005, helpfully reprinted for your amusement on Relevant’s front page today. It’s about how, over the years, Jesus has been “adopted” by different groups (hippies, Republicans, etc.) because he exhibited certain accessible characteristics. Then it details the positives and negatives related to that kind of focus.
I’ve written a bunch of stuff for Relevant over the years, but this article may be one of my favorites. It’s a little bit historical, a little bit snarky, a little bit thought-provoking. I love to write this kind of stuff, and it’s fascinating to me how popular Jesus is to so many people. The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer, once proposed that, if you were to take all the leaders of all the world’s religions, and lock them in a room, and tell them to select a single person who best represented the basic tenets of those religions to the world…well, they’d have a hard time coming up with anyone other than Jesus. Interesting to consider.
Honestly, I’m a big fan of Jesus (understate much?). I’m a Christian because of Jesus. And the things that attract me to him — the things that inspire worship and commitment — may be different for me than they are for you. And some things about him make me uncomfortable. But it’s not like we can just pick and choose the elements of Jesus that we like best. We pretty much have to take the entire package. Not just the compassion and grace, but also the judgment. The fire-breathing “woes” pronounced upon the religious blowhards. The hard teachings about wealth. The clear commands to care for the poor. The weird apocalyptic stuff and the crazy object lessons, like when he cursed the fig tree. The whole Jesus. Not just the parts.
And if most people realized that, they might be a little more reluctant to conclude that the Man from Galilee is, in fact, their homeboy.
What attracts you most to Jesus? What about Jesus challenges you the most? Please discuss.