The Shallow City in Between, Part 2

“How can you live with the terrifying thought that the hurricane has become human, that the fire has become flesh, that Life itself has walked into our midst?  Christianity either means that, or it means nothing.  It is either the most devastating disclosure of the deepest reality of the world, or it is a sham, a nonsense, a bit of deceitful playacting.  Most of us, unable to cope with saying either of those things, condemn ourselves to live in the shallow world in between."

What are some of the opinions people in Nashville have about Jesus?  A very common opinion: "Jesus may be good for you, but he is not really pertinent for me."

 
 

In general, this opinion emerges from the culturally common belief: "I'll decide what's best for me and you decide what's best for you."  But what if Jesus is the hurricane that became human, the fire that became flesh, the Life that actually walked into our midst and, though killed, didn’t stay dead?  What if that isn’t an opinion but an historical reality? Then what?  

Then "Jesus may be good for you, but he is not really pertinent for me" falls in line with Jesus being a sham, a nonsense, a bit of deceitful playacting. Looking the other direction, if we are unable to say Jesus is the most devastating disclosure of the deepest reality of the world, we condemn ourselves to live in the shallow world in between.

May God give us the courage and humility to consider Jesus as Life or as a total sham so that we – as a city – would not condemn ourselves to live in the shallow world in between.  

N.T. Wright, For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1997)