“This illusion trips him. . . . He runs. Ah: runs. Runs.” John Updike, Rabbit, Run
This step-after-step chase-to-the-afterlife invites detours—dust: the afterthought kicked up by heels leaving the scene: I run, you run, he runs, she runs, they run away, beyond, the body dragging the last of its soul by a shoelace.
Over deserts, over cliffs, over lakes—frozen and un— over hotel Gideons and attic King James, over Good News for Modern Man and Book of Common Prayer, the feet punctuate their ellipses, pivot to prodigal or penitent; you can’t tell by the flesh blistered with persistence. It’s the finish line that knows, the aching tendons that remember.
One of my favorite things to teach in a seminary setting is Christology, particularly the early church’s development of what would become “orthodox” understandings of both the person and work of Jesus.
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.