Monday, October 5, 2015

The Original Jesus

A number of years ago J. B. Phillips wrote a book entitled, "You God is Too Small."  Phillips was lamenting how mere mortals chop God down to size in order to meet their concept of the Almighty. Phillips was quick to point out that a God made in our image is no God at all.

Daniel Darling, in his latest book, "The Original Jesus," demonstrates that in the 21st century we mere mortals are still trying to make God into something less that what God really is - transcendent, immortal, all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal.

Darling shows how conservatives and liberals alike have whittled down Jesus into someone who supports their causes but not as redeemer of the whole world.  "Dr. Phil Jesus" is someone who is not worshiped and praised for His innocent suffering and death and victorious resurrection but as someone who has a five step plan for you to live your best life now.  "Legalist Jesus" is reduced to nothing more that the giver of a list of rules that helps a person live a moral, righteous life, as if that were possible, given our ingrained habit of sinning.

I really appreciated what Darling wrote in "BFF Jesus:" We need to recover the tension that is the humanity and divinity of Jesus.  I wonder, when the average unchurched person reads our evangelism literature, do they find an almighty, powerful Lord and King of the universe who left His throne of glory to stoop down, take on flesh, and bear our sins on the cross?  Do they find the Christ who defeated demonic powers, was raised from the dead, and is in the process of renewing and restoring all of creation? Do they find the Jesus of Revelation who tramples His enemies underfoot and righteously judges the nations?...What we need is a return to a confessional, reformational Christianity, not a stuffy, leisure-suits-and-slide-projector type of evangelicalism.  We don't need a curmudgeonly get-off-my-lawn evangelicalism, but a robust expression of faith in Christ that acknowledges Jesus as a more than our running buddy or Facebook friend.  We need the Jesus who is the conquering King, the Creator of the universe.