Sunday, August 18, 2013
The most pernicious theological temptation is projection. As grand “masters of suspicion” such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud have reminded us, we Christians often read the Bible within a specific cultural context and then impose the standards of that context onto the God of the Bible. What begins with a children’s sermon that conveys (perhaps unintentionally) that the point of the incarnation is Jesus telling us to be nice to each other, culminates in a sermon that portrays Jesus as a comfortable purveyor of contemporary sensibilities. While a domesticated portrayal may seem more benevolent than a fire-and-brimstone sermon that presents Jesus as the agent of God’s wrathful judgment, it is no less hollow.
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