Friday, July 31, 2009

Herzog: the "social" Christ

Friday, July 31, 2009
    Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556

    But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
    —2 Timothy 4:5 (NIV)

    One of the catchwords in contemporary Protestantism is that religion must aid man in “becoming human” or even “truly human”—whatever that means—and the “model” is Christ. Take the “obvious things” about Christ as listed by a contemporary minister:

    He was a popular and controversial preacher;
    He gathered a group of followers;
    He spent most of his time with the disinherited;
    He taught with authority;
    He never married;
    He never (so far as we know) held a job;
    He did not participate in public affairs;
    He did not have income, property, or an address;
    He was in bitter and frequent conflict with the religious and political authorities;
    He seemed to expect that the world would be eminently, radically, and supernaturally transformed;
    He attacked the traditions and values of his own people;
    He practically forced the authorities to prosecute and execute him.

    There is nothing exclusively religious, much less Christian, in this description, which, with a few exceptions, might apply also to Socrates or to “Che” Guevara. I asked many socially oriented ministers why they were Christians at all. Some said through faith, and some said that Christianity gave them courage and the motivation to endure (but so do other beliefs). Some said they hardly knew and that, if another, more acceptable, ideology came along, they would embrace it.
    ... Arthur Herzog (b. 1927), The Church Trap, New York: Macmillan, 1968, p. 166 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, recall Your people to Your power and service.

CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
BDTC    search    script
mobile    sub


Post a Comment

<< Home