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19 January, 2008 / theexpositor

Christianity vs. Jesusanity — The Postmodern Temptation

by Dr. Albert Mohler

The most hard-core forms of postmodern thought are generally limited to academic campuses, but the postmodern worldview is trickling down in various forms to the popular level.  While postmodern literary theorists debate the meaning of “totalizing metanarratives,” at the level of popular piety we see the widespread substitution of “spirituality” for biblical Christianity.

 

In this sense, spirituality is a project centered in the self and constantly negotiable — more about “meaning” than truth.  Where does Jesus Christ fit in all this?  Darrell L. Bock and Daniel B. Wallace argue that popular culture is on a quest “to unseat the biblical Christ.”  They make their case in Dethroning Jesus [Thomas Nelson]..

 

As Bock and Wallace explain, classical biblical Christianity is being replaced by “Jesusanity.”  In their words:

 

“Jesusanity” is a coined term for the alternative story about Jesus. Here the center of the story is still Jesus, but Jesus as either a prophet or a teacher of religious wisdom. In Jesusanity, Jesus remains very much Jesus of Nazareth. He points the way to God and leads people into a journey with God. His role is primarily one of teacher, guide, and example. Jesus’ special status involves his insight into the human condition and the enlightenment he brings to it. There is no enthronement of Jesus at God’s side, only the power of his teaching and example. In this story, the key is that Jesus inspires others, but there is no throne for him. He is one among many – the best, perhaps, and one worthy to learn from and follow.

 

Biblical Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine.  Thus, Jesus does not need to be “humanized.”  As the Apostle Paul taught in Philippians 2:5-11, Jesus humbled Himself to take on full and authentic humanity.  So, the real issue in Jesusanity is not humanizing Jesus, but denying His deity.  Christianity and Jesusanity tell two different stories and represent two very different faiths.

 

Read the entire article…

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