- The Illusion
of Objectivity and the Privilege of Discipleship
I. The "Common Jesus" of Historical Criticism
is the real Jesus? Moderns turn to "historical criticism"
E.P. Sanders' Historical Figure of Jesus: A Jesus we can
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
II. Lent: The Christian shape of discipleship
1. Lent remembers Jesus' calling together of an "official
2. Lent uses Jesus' wilderness temptations to guide fans' initiation/renewal
A season of initiation and preparation for the baptism of the
A season of penitence and renewal for the already baptized
Lent relates Jesus' baptism, his temptation, his passion, and
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
IV. "Christology from Behind"
Only by following Jesus do we know him (Matt. 10:24-25, 2
Narrative theology: Saints tell us more about Jesus Christ (Rom.
Spirituality: Study of Jesus is conversation with Jesus and with
Neither false objectivity nor relativism, but humility and critical
Evangelical example: Douglas Webster, A Passion for Christ
Two false Christologies: Abstract theology, shallow sentimentality
V. Beyond the Sports Bar: The Church in the Wilderness
Lent remembers Israel's/Jesus'/Church's forty years in the
- (1 Pet. 1, 1 Pet.
2:9-11, Heb. 13:12-14)
- Following Jesus makes
us part of Jesus' context, puts us "in the
VI. Transfiguration: The Ultimate Privileged Perspective
After Peter's confession, where the real discipleship begins
A "sneak preview" for weary disciples (and Jesus too?)