Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Inappropriate use of language - re: a personal relationship with Jesus?

This guy thinks "personal relationship" is a bit strong - maybe a reflection of our therapeutic culture. I disagree, but his perspective is worth reading.
Where the language of personal relationship has a very questionable pedigree in secular pressures, amidst a therapeutic culture, to cut God down to a manageable size, the language of faith is deeply rooted in scripture. Where the language of personal relationship is always ambiguous and inexact, meaning whatever the speaker happens to privately mean, the language of faith has been deeply examined for more than two thousand years. Where the language of personal relationship sounds implausible or perhaps even impossible, at least as far as the plain sense of such language goes, the language of faith serves as an invitation to ponder mystery and overcome unbelief. The apostle John put it this way: "This is [God's] command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us" (1 John 3:23). That seems, to me, the real meaning and purpose of life.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Thinking in Ohio said...

I thought this was a very thoughtful and scholarly piece, and it does give us a lot to think about. However, I think the author has only given an opposing perspective of the issue, rather than a balanced one.

The Bible reveals both a transcendent and an immanent God--He is the Lord God Almighty highly exalted whose face no man can see, but he also calls Moses his friend and shares his name with his people. Our modern culture is certainly lop-sided on the "God is my buddy" kick. But it is God himself who calls us His Bride, His Body, "his friends". So, I think this is a both/and not an either/or issue.

And I'm not so sure culutral accomadation is such a sin... to be sure it can be... but speaking in a language that is relevant and real, one that means something to its hearers... well, Jesus did that Himself, didn't he?

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Cedric said...

I agree that modern Christianity has a skewed (or watered-down) understanding of what it means to be a Christian. The article raises some good points but also takes it a bit too far.

Here's another article you might find interesting, titled "Ten Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart". Again, I think the author may take things a bit too far but overall raises some great points to think about.



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