Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Reinventing Jesus

In the bookstore, I found this book published in 2007 by Dr. Erwin Lutzer, a senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. Little may he have realized it but Dr. Lutzer was proving the Popes right in their teachings against Modernism:

"Living as we do at the beginning of a new century, many new Jesuses are being fabricated year by year; this is the age of designer Jesuses. Often the only similarity is the name; the character traits are entirely different. So your Jesus might not be my Jesus and mine might not be the Jesus of my-next-door neighbor.

"...The Jesus whose biography is found in the New Testament is being treated like putty in the hands of those who wish to refashion Him to fit to their particular view of the world. Just take a moment to browse your neighborhood bookstore and you will find dozens of books, with topics ranging from Jesus and women's rights to Jesus and Zen to Jesus and inner healing. Jesus is used - or rather, misused - for every cause imaginable, from gas-saving minivans to religious zealots. I'm reminded of the words of the late Yasser Arafat, who at a press conference at the United Nations in 1983 called Jesus "the first Palestinian fedayeen who carried his sword." Think of it: Jesus was the first freedom fighter for Islam!

"It seems as though everyone wants Jesus in their parade," writes Joseph Stowell: 'From gay activists to abortionists to religious leaders to politicians, making Jesus fit their agenda and flying His flag provides a guise of propriety and credibility.'

"Stowell is right, but we have to ask: How can scholars take the radical, all-demanding Jesus of the Gospels and reinvent Him so that He, like a book on the shelf, is wholly within our power to do with Him as we will? This Jesus allows us to be in charge, never insisting that we come under His authority, never asking us to stake our eternal destiny on His claims.

"No other name has inspired such great devotion and so much controversy; no other person has been tweaked to serve so many agendas. Scholars are writing books not about Christianity, but about 'Jesusanity', as my friend Darrel Bock describes it. Learning about these evolving images of Jesus will help us identify the one Jesus who stands above all others and is actually as good as His word!"

E. Lutzer, Slandering Jesus: 6 Lies People Tell About The Man Who Said He Was God, 4-5.

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