Monday, May 07, 2007

Still incarnate

Have you ever stopped to think about Jesus' continuing incarnation? Gerrit Scott Dawson has, and Justin Buzzard has interviewed him. Here's a sample:
. . . I think most Christians were like I was—we figure Jesus slipped out of his skin suit just as soon as he could. He didn’t hang on to our humanity. After his work was done, we figure he got back to being the Son of God without the drag of our human nature. It boggles our minds to consider that he is still in skin, still bearing our humanity. . . .

The gospel has always created the scandal of particularity. It offends our sense of autonomy and spiritual quest and even American egalitarianism to recognize that in this one particular man, Jesus, the eternal Son of God stood among us. Thus, God is like Jesus, and not another way. Jesus is Lord of all and I am not lord of my own life anymore.

Now if you want to get away from the claiming, demanding pressure of that truth, you’ve got to get rid of the particularity of Jesus. You need to spiritualize the resurrection and the ascension. Let resurrection be about a principle of new life, the continuing influence of Jesus, but not something as scandalous as one dead man who got up.

The ascension takes the scandal even further. Jesus held onto our humanity. He has taken it into heaven. The future of our humanity is bound up in what he has done with us. Where he goes is where we are meant to go. What he becomes is what we will become. All my soul quests, all my spirituality, all my wanting a god on my own terms gets blown away by the God-Man who is in heaven, still in my skin, still insisting that he is the one with whom we all have to deal.
Wow. Great stuff. The ascension does matter, and Dr. Dawson shows us why (HT: Eucatastrophe).


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