About that ‘Personal Relationship with Jesus’

Brad Miner | June 17, 2024

It’s a good idea, of course, that “personal relationship” with Jesus. It works itself around any number of contemporary roadblocks to the faith. Which is unusual for Christian truths in current conditions. But without some other, very good, ideas, the personal relationship turns into a very bad idea.

Because if, as in most of the “relationships” we have these days, we limit what transpires between us and Him only to what we’re willing to agree to, we’re not in a personal relationship with Jesus. We’re in a toxic relationship with our own egos, a cocoon we create for our own comfort, but which, ironically, is one of the deepest reasons for our current unease.

The whole problem can be seen by asking a simple question: Which Jesus are we supposed to have that relationship with, anyway?

  • The Jesus of the Scriptures and Early Church Fathers
  • The Byzantine Pantocrator
  • The Mystic Lamb of the Ghent Altarpiece
  • The Da Vinci Salvator Mundi
  • The Reformation Christ of sola fide and sola Scriptura
  • The Enlightenment rationalist Jesus (miracles optional)
  • The early modern, liberal Protestant, or Social Gospel Jesus
  • The countercultural hippie Jesus of the 1960s
  • The Marxist guerilla Jesus of liberation theology
  • The Cosmic Christ of Teilhard
  • The Rahnerian Jesus of “anonymous Christians”
  • The prosperity gospel Jesus
  • The uncertain, terminally debatable, and mutually contradictory figures conjured up by the historical/critical scripture scholars?

If these seem too tied to other times and places, we’ve now gotten the todos, todos, todos Jesus, who loves us all just the way we are – well, not exactly all, equally, more LGBT+ and other “irregulars” than the rigid, the backwardist, the Latin-lovers. This Jesus doesn’t (formally) change His teachings, but can swiftly turn previously unchallenged Catholic practicesby 180° – with far-reaching implications about the teaching at some future date.

For the rest of the column, click here . . .


Comments are closed.