"Christology from Behind": The Illusion of Objectivity and the Privilege of Discipleship
I. The "Common Jesus" of Historical Criticism Whose Jesus is the real Jesus? Moderns turn to "historical criticism"
E.P. Sanders' Historical Figure of Jesus: A Jesus we can all recognize
Are events and statistics enough?
The illusion of objectivity and the need for "fans"
If historiography isn't enough, then how do we discover the real Jesus?
II. Lent: The Christian shape of discipleship 1. Lent remembers Jesus' calling together of an "official fan club"
2. Lent uses Jesus' wilderness temptations to guide fans' initiation/renewal
A season of initiation and preparation for the baptism of the Easter vigil
A season of penitence and renewal for the already baptized
Lent relates Jesus' baptism, his temptation, his passion, and our formation
Only once a year? The evangelical reaction to Lent
III. Lent as Christian Initiation: A Third (?) Century Picture
Stage I: Sponsorship, enrollment, exorcism, sign of the cross, probation, catechesis, Church attendance, prayer, intercession
Stage II: Lenten fast: Instruction, prayer, exorcism, scrutiny
Stage III: Holy Week: Bathing, exorcism, vigil, apotaxis, syntaxis, creed, triple immersion, chrism of oil
Result: The initiate is now a follower and knower of Jesus (a "fan")
IV. "Christology from Behind" Only by following Jesus do we know him (Matt. 10:24-25, 2 Cor. 3:18)
Narrative theology: Saints tell us more about Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29)
Spirituality: Study of Jesus is conversation with Jesus and with each other
Neither false objectivity nor relativism, but humility and critical faithfulness
Evangelical example: Douglas Webster, A Passion for Christ Two false Christologies: Abstract theology, shallow sentimentality (Phil. 3:8)
V. Beyond the Sports Bar: The Church in the Wilderness Lent remembers Israel's/Jesus'/Church's forty years in the wilderness
(1 Pet. 1, 1 Pet. 2:9-11, Heb. 13:12-14)
Following Jesus makes us part of Jesus' context, puts us "in the game"
VI. Transfiguration: The Ultimate Privileged Perspective
After Peter's confession, where the real discipleship begins (Luke 9:28-36)
A "sneak preview" for weary disciples (and Jesus too?)