Sunday, January 28, 2007

The trouble with Cool Jesus

My thought for the day: Jesus offers a full life, one that is infinitely open and exposed. In the context of faith, cool is nearly always a safe alternative: it allows us to hide behind a veil of cynicism or divisiveness.

From a ministry perspective, the Jesus we give to people will be the Jesus they make their own, at least initially. So when we present a Revolutionary Jesus, or a white (or black) Jesus, or a Buddy Christ, we'll be sending people down a road they'll have to recover from later.

So when we try to keep people inside the bosom of the church by cooling up Jesus, we're only shooting ourselves in the foot. I also have a gut-level feeling that Jesus' scandalous claims are much more interesting than cool Jesuses.



At 8:56 AM, January 31, 2007, Blogger Jenn said...

Thank you thank you thank you for saying that. I'm pretty sure I "cool up" Jesus in some ways more than I would expect, but it's about time somebody called our bluff.


Oh. Wait.

At 3:29 PM, March 08, 2008, Anonymous Jeff said...

Honestly through we Crhsitians have been "cooling up" and sometimes wattering down Jesus since about "60 CE when Mark wrote his Gospel. Mark shows a human, persecuted jesus. John shows a divine, in control Jesus. Luke shows a 'cool' inclusive, loved-by-the outsider Jesus.
Jesus appears to many people in many different ways, but when we compare notes, only the basics are common. This is because he meets us all where we are.
I think we as Christians have a tendancy to water him down more than "cool" him "up. Jesus was a radical, table-overturning, authority-provoking savoir messiah King. And that is pretty much the architype for Cary Grant, Indiana Jones, John Wayne, except Jesus has a lot more in the love department. Jesus can sell himself. So we don't need to worry as much how he comes off. But we do have to be out there giving him opportunities.

So If I show a punk Jesus cause that's who found me, I think that's ok as long as he leads to teh real Jesus behind the Scriptures. (notice I didn't say in: because the Jesus in scripture is a picture, an account, he isn't all in there.. and he is presented differently by different authors.)


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