1.23.2007

You Damn Liberal

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov said...

Wow, you damn liberal. I knew Fuller would mess you up.

Also, are you using a moral example theory of atonement here? Did Jesus die simply so we would all see his selfless act and be energized to be good people as well? This was Arius' view. Be careful not to slip into a works salvation you Catholic sympathizer.

Oh yeah, and see my comment on your last post and check out Irenaeus' recapitulation theory, it's my favorite.

One of my closest friends at seminary is named Greg. He left this comment on the previous post which to the uninformed looks downright rude. But in-fact it was made completely tong-in-cheek. Greg is himself a flaming Roman Catholic liberal, at least in some area's. I can say this because I know him, and because we have shared countless theological conversations. I know precisely the look on his face as he wrote this. As he wrote, he wore a sly mischievous grin, one which I miss very much. In this grin Greg communicates any number of things, but one of them is this: “I a roman catholic know what I think, and you a conservative (kind of) evangelical know what you think, yet in spite of our sometimes large differences we press on with a contagious kind of love. A love for theology, each other, and most of all Jesus Christ that allows us to be worlds apart but best of friends” (yes all of this is communicated in Greg’s grin.)

Looking back on our time together at Fuller. I think that one of the things that made this possible was our lack of desire to win a debate. We were both so committed to our positions that we would just sit around chatting, sometimes passionately, but never really debating, just talking, learning from each other, what the ins and outs of each others positions were. Ironically, in trying not to debate each other, we did in fact rub off on each other.

Interesting yet disconcerting is the fact that what we chatted about over beer and cigarettes, others have literally (and I mean that) killed over.

I responded to Greg's comment as follows:

Greg, I don't think any of this will be news to you, but I'll say it anyway. Jesus didn't die simply so that we would all see his selfless act and be energized to be good people as well, he DIED so that would all see his selfless act and be energized to be good people... and so much more. Yes there is a line of reasoning that would suggest that Jesus was just a good teacher and that his death sealed this teaching, catapulting them to the next level if you will, and that Peter and Paul then invented Christianity on the back of this "good mans deeds". What is different here is that I am saying not "yes, but" but rather "yes, and" The good teacher, (who was also the Son of God) sealed his teachings, our example, and did a great number of other things as well. These "other things" I believe can be grouped or described under three broad categories, anthropologically, kind of what the previous post was getting at, and theologically, which we do too narrowly, and spiritually. You and I both believe that on the cross, something amazing happened at a spiritual/supernatural level that mere theological discourse fails to get its arms around. What Jesus did on the cross fails comprehension at so many levels it should stop us in our tracks. Instead we summarize it in neat theological statements and package and sell it for only $9.99 on necklaces and bookmarks at the local book store.

3 comments:

Mx5 said...

Eh...we've been called worse. *wink* At least you're "our" 'dern liberal. Blessings!

Wally Johnson said...

I call it the "Lost Art of Civility". Too often when we think we cannot be wrong we argue most vociferously. When I realize I can be wrong, I listen and challenge myself. Nice to see you both enjoying what God has given.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov said...

Sweet, I made the subject of a blog post. I hope things are going well. There is a chance that I could get a teaching position in religion at Cristo Rey, a Jesuit high school in Minneapolis.

Peace.