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Christian Discipleship Conference

I've been a busy busy busy person these last few weeks. Seems like when I get some down time, I just spend it trying to catch up with myself. I've recently inherited my mom's inability to sleep, but catching up in the form of naps is seeming to work for the time being.

In any case, tonight I went and heard Brian McLaren speak, and tomorrow is more of the same. Tonight's talk was entitled "The Seven Jesuses I Have Known." It was good, but not much more info than given in his books. This one seemed to be a summary of A Generous Orthodoxy. I still managed to take some new info from it. He talked at then about some stuff he mentioned in The Secret Message of Jesus as well. Overall it was good, but I'm hoping tomorrow will dive into some things that I haven't heard from him before.

So the Jesuses. I'll hit on them briefly and hit the stuff that struck me. Check out A Generous Orthodoxy if you want to know more of what McLaren thinks....

1. Conservative Evangelical Protestant Jesus
This Jesus is all about how we get salvation through Christ's death. Good Friday is probably the most important day for this group because Christ's death fixes everything.
2. Pentecostal Jesus
Jesus is something you experience. It is all about emotions.
3. Catholic Jesus
We get a glimpse of the risen Christ through the Eucharist. When we take the Eucharist seriously, we can take everything else seriously. There is no such thing as JUST a symbol.
4. Eastern Orthodox Jesus
This one caught me off guard but I loved it. He mentioned a book called Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. I immediately came home and bought it used online. I like buying used books online. The most important piece of this Jesus is his entry into the world. When Jesus enters the picture, the whole world is changed. The other awesome part was his discussion of the perichoresis, the trinity is not just this chain of command thing with the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier (Father, Son, and Spirit) it is this beautiful dance. That image is really just moving around in my head like nothing else.
5. Mainline (Liberal) Protestant Jesus
McLaren said these were the ones he was told to be afraid of. Of course the room was filled with a bunch of Methodists. It cracked me up the whole time. Of course this is the Jesus I grew up knowing. The teacher. The one who talks about the kingdom of God being here and now. He talked about how he was taught that he shouldn't pray the Lord's prayer because it was just repetition and unbiblical... Huh... never thought that the Bible was unbiblical before.
6.Anabaptist Jesus
Jesus as a peacemaker. He talked about how there are many many non Christians who do this one better than Christians today. And how non-violence is really the only way to overcome division. When you use violence to overcome violence, violence always wins.
7.Liberation Theology Jesus
This is another on that intrigues me. Jesus says we are to take up our crosses. Crucifixion was reserved for political revolutionaries. Are we revolutionary? Or does our church work within a safe and quiet bureaucracy?

So why is it that we don't want to follow all of these different Jesuses? Why is it that we can't see Jesus from 7 (or more) perspectives? I'm comfortable with 5 and 6. 3, 4 and 7 intrigue the heck out of me. 1 & 2? Scare the heck out of me.

McLaren left us with this thought... maybe we're only comfortable with 1 or 2 of these because we don't want to be disciples. Maybe we just want to be Christians. I'm going to work on embracing these different viewpoints. Even the ones that scare me. Or at least coming to the point where I can truly appreciate the differences, and use that to understand this radical Christ that I've chosen to follow.
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it is precisely that radicality that engages our humanness to create boxes for Jesus that we can then judge others by. You fit 1,2,3 and so I will respond to you in this, or that way. As long as you choose to see the world and Jesus through the eyes of your own choosing you will continue to box and judge Jesus and those who "fit" those boxes. The real difficulty is to reach beyond the box (ohh I'm beginning to fall into a mold) and interact directly with the radical nature of who God is and live a life that blossoms to whom we belong.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 AM  

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