Sunday, August 18, 2013

Luke 12:49–56

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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