bonar crump

bonar crump
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Monday, March 28, 2011

This, That, and the Other Jesus

by Greg Garrett 

Of the criticisms I've been getting about my book The Other Jesus (and I'm not wading through anything like the abuse that Mr. Bell and Mr. McLaren face), the one I take most seriously is the accusation that I've just rejected an angry Jesus built by frightened people, and replaced him with a peace-y, justice-y Jesus of my own creation. I know we are prone to such things; Albert Schweitzer opined that we tend to find the Jesus we are looking for.
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That innate tendency toward finding what we're already looking for is why now, since returning to a faith that saved my life, I try to listen, not just talk.
It's why I try to be aware of my own filters and desires and read scripture and tradition as honestly as I can to see what new things God has to teach me.
One of the things I found soul-killing about the tradition I was raised in was the insistence that Christian faith was about unswerving belief that could not accommodate questions or disagreement.
And one of the things I have found life-giving is the idea that God is always doing a new thing, and that, as the Reformed tradition would have it, the Church is always reforming to try to get on board with that new thing God is doing.
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Like them, Jesus loved so much he was willing to live and die for the poor, the broken-hearted, the castaway, and all the rest of us schmucks.
Like them, Jesus was a spiritual leader whose beliefs led him to feed, comfort, heal, and speak out for justice.
Like them, Jesus was a person who rejected the earthly values of wealth, power, and possession for the heavenly values of compassion, prayer, and hope.

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