ok, so, if someone could remind never to promise anything in my blog posts, that would be great. as you may recall, in the intro to this blog series, i said that “beginning tomorrow” (which would have been friday) i would be kicking off the series… well, not so much… how about beginning right now??…
statement: christ: the life, ministry, mission and values of jesus are the foremost guideposts in my life.
what: specifically, i think the chief traits of jesus’ life, ministry, mission and values were grace, mercy and love. for jesus, halakha (hebrew for the collective body of jewish religious law) was defined by these three traits, as opposed to other contemporary jewish religious leaders who were more concerned with rigid adherence to the letter of the law.
why: to say that one of my guiding life theologies is the personhood of jesus may seem obvious and overstated, but the fact is that, for many christians and churches, we often seek everything but jesus. i think if we truly examine and dig into the life of jesus, we, as the church (universal), would make some significant changes in the way we “do” church and live in relation to others.
further, to make a distinction to say that jesus is a guiding theology denotes the centrality of jesus in the life of the believer. not paul. not mary. not any other saint. but jesus. one of the phenomenons that some theologians have pointed to in the last several years is the curious shift in the church’s elevation of pauline morality and its influence on the way we do church and live. some have criticized that particular criticism, but it’s simply to say that the primary moral and theological guide for christians should be the recorded life, words and values of jesus and not (only) paul. certainly, paul is one of the heroes of the faith and of incomparable importance in shaping the early church, he isn’t jesus. it just strikes me (and others) as very odd that we place such high value on what paul said and seemingly neglect some of the most prominent statements of jesus. i am deeply shaped by the writings of paul and they should be highly valued by the church, but our primary source of morality and ecclesiology and mission and vision should come directly from our observations of jesus as presented in the gospels.