samhaist

Which Jesus do you worship?

In books, loving jesus, quotes, recommendations on February 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Today I started reading Your Jesus Is Too Safe by Jared C. Wilson, pastor and blogger at The Gospel-Driven Church. I’ve been looking forward to starting it for a while now and I would highly recommend it (even by just reading the introduction!).

We live in in a culture that has many different pseudo-Jesuses (macho-Jesus, buddy-Jesus, therapist-Jesus, flowing-product-in-hair-Jesus, etc.). Unfortunately, these are just as present within the church as without. So, with the hope that you’ll see who Jesus really is, which Jesus do you worship?

“The great irony is that, despite being the most discussed and confessed figure in all of history, no historical figure has been more marginalized and commoditized than Jesus. For many today he is a generic brand, a log0, a catchphrase, a pick-me-up. He’s been fictionalized by The Last Temptation of Christ, and humanized by The Passion of the Christ, and satirized by South Park. He’s been romanticized by countless admirers, and sanitized by the Christian consumer culture.

Yes, even the church itself is guilty when it comes to the marketing of Jesus. We’ve put our own gloss on him, our own spin. It’s no wonder the world doesn’t get Jesus, because we’ve spent decades selling a Jesus cast in our own image. Even our religious ancestors feared the stern taskmaster Jesus. This quasi-Puritan Jesus liked to smack you on the knuckles with a ruler when you got out of line. Later, we received Postcard Jesus–the Coppertoned, blond-haired, blank-stare Jesus of the gold-framed portrait, a bland, two-dimensional figure occupying moral tales that help us to be better people. This flat portrait evolved into the Get-Out-of-Hell-Free Jesus, and this Jesus has inspired millions to say a prayer to get his forgiveness–and then go on living lives devoid of his presence….

…You’d think if anyone’s got a handle on Jesus, it would be the Christian church. But we’ve settled for the glossy portrait. We’ve used him and abused him, made him into types and stereotypes, taken his message out of context and made it about being a better person or being cool or helping us to help ourselves. Consequently, what we have today–in a world where Jesus is most cited, most recognized, and most admired–is a generation of people who don’t know the Gospels very well–which means we don’t know Jesus very well.”

Jared is a guy worth listening to. He was even nice enough to give me a copy of his book through a contest on Twitter. Check him out, but more importantly, check Jesus out. The real one. The one who is King.

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