Sunday, July 14, 2019

Herzog: the "social" Christ

Sunday, July 14, 2019
    Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866
    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 (as far as we know) held a job;
    He did not participate responsibly in public affairs;
    He did not have income, property, or a fixed address;
    He was in bitter and frequent conflict with the religious and political authorities;
  & nbsp; 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 (1927-2010), The Church Trap, New York: Macmillan, 1968, p. 166-167 (see the book)
    See also 2 Tim. 4:1-5; John 4:32-34; Rom. 12:12; 1 Tim. 4:15-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, recall Your people to Your power and service.

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