I’m still thinking critically about the present-day view of Jesus, the view of which Deepak Chopra advocates by painting a rosy-cozy picture of a “third” Jesus. Awhile back we saw Machen’s comments that were excellent and appropriate. From a different “tradition,” here’s Bishop Willimon’s take on this whole thing.
“It is odd that we have made even Jesus into such a quivering mass of affirmation and oozing graciousness, considering how frequently, unguardedly, and gleefully Jesus told us that we were sinners. Anyone who thinks that Jesus was into inclusiveness, self-affirmation, and open-minded, heart-happy acceptance has then got to figure out why we responded to him by nailing him on a cross. He got there not for urging us to ‘consider the lilies’ but for calling us ‘whitewashed tombs’ and even worse.”
Right. If Jesus just gave us some neat statements on realizing our potential, why in the world did we staple him to a tree while cackling like demons? We need Jesus because he called sin sin and chased it to the cross to pay for it and take the damning curse from those who trust in him. I don’t really care about my lack of self-actualization and low self-esteem. My dark and depraved heart frightens me much more.
Qutoes from William Willimon, Sinning Like a Christian (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005), 8.